Space & Astronomy
Rare supermoon will be brightest in 70 years
By T.K. Randall
November 3, 2016 · 71 comments
The extra-supermoon will occur on November 14th. Image Credit: NASA / Sean Smith
Skywatchers will be out in their droves when the Moon lights up the night sky later on this month.
A supermoon, which sees the Moon appearing unusually big and bright in the sky, is a relatively common lunar event which takes place when a full moon occurs at its closest point to the Earth.
This month's supermoon however is set to be the biggest and brightest in almost seven decades.
The reason for this is down to the elliptical nature of the Moon's orbit. When the Moon is at its closest to us this is known as the perigee and when it is furthest away this is called the apogee.
When the Sun, Moon and Earth all line up at the same time however this is known as a syzygy.
"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 or more commonly, a supermoon!" NASA wrote.
"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 full moon won't come this close to Earth again until November 25 2034."
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