Sci-tech

Catch the only supermoon of 2017 on Sunday

Catch the only supermoon of 2017 on Sunday

The next supermoons are on January 2 and January 31, 2018.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon or new moon coincides with the moon's closest approach to Earth, also known as perigee. This distance varies from a low of 221,500 miles at perigee (moon closest to the Earth) to a high of 252,700 miles at apogee (Moon farthest from the Earth). The moon will look bigger when it is near the horizon and framed with a building or object on the foreground. The orbit of the moon is an elliptical; there are times in the moon's orbit where it is closer to the Earth, and other times when it is farther away.

Tom Kerss, of the Royal Observatory, in Greenwich, South East London, said: "It's close enough to qualify as a supermoon".

If you're dreading the beginning of Mercury Retrograde Dec. 3, you can counteract the smallest planet's bad mojo by setting your intentions under December's supermoon, which is happening the same day.

This optical illusion also occurs when watching the supermoon immediately after sunset (or before sunrise). The brightest moon in nearly 69 years is lighting up the sky in a treat for star watchers around the globe.

So, why is the moonrise the best time to view the supermoon?

This occasion is not quite as astounding as that event, but the moon will still be 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than when at apogee, according to Nasa. "Then slide your finger up or down to darken or lighten the exposure".

"The supermoon gets headlines because the moon's a little bigger and a little brighter, but people get frustrated that they can't always tell the difference".

Unlike a solar eclipse, a supermoon can be viewed without any kind of eye protection, so you won't have to worry with getting special viewing glasses for this phenomenon. "Still, it's a great excuse to just go out and look at the sky", says Nichols. Do it near the horizon, and do it again away from the horizon.

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