Skywatchers to be treated to biggest Supermoon in 70 years

November 14, 2016 12:30 pm
The brightest moon in almost 69 years will be lighting up the night sky this week in a treat for star watchers around the globe.
The phenomenon, known as the supermoon, will reach its zenith in Asia and the South Pacific on Monday night.
It will then reach its most brightest mode in North America before dawn on Monday.
Across the international dateline in New Zealand, it will reach its brightest after midnight on Tuesday local time.
If skies are clear, the upcoming full moon will appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than usual, according to NASA.

This image shows a near full moon in Aravica, Arizona, on October 13, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The moon’s distance from Earth varies because it is in an egg-shaped, not circular, orbit around the planet.
Since the moon’s orbit is elliptical, one side (perigee) is about 50,000 kilometers closer to Earth than the other (apogee).
The word syzygy is the scientific term used for when the Earth, sun, and moon line up as the moon orbits Earth.
When perigee-syzygy of the Earth-moon-sun system occurs and the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun, we get a perigee moon, which is more commonly known as supermoon.
This coincidence already happened one time on October 16.
On November 14 and December 14, it happens again, as the moon becomes full on the same day as perigee. On November 14, it becomes full within about two hours of perigee—arguably making it an extra-supermoon.
The full moon of November 14 is not only the closest full moon of 2016 but also the closest full moon to date in the 21st century. 
The next time a full moon comes this close to Earth will be November 25, 2034.
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