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Space & Astronomy

Rare supermoon will be brightest in 70 years

By T.K. Randall
November 3, 2016 · Comment icon 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."

Source: | Comments (71)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #62 Posted by ChrLzs 8 years ago
You may send it to me... Those Meade Goto's are nice scopes, and a 3" refractor should give some lovely views without being too bulky...  I used to be half owner of a Meade Goto 125 (?) reflector, but now have moved house/state and have just got a tiny little Nat Geo tabletop dobsonian that is a bit of a toy - optically it's not bad but needs a bit of work to accurately collimate it - maybe during the Xmas holidays I'll get onto it...
Comment icon #63 Posted by davros of skaro 8 years ago
I'm late for the party, but I can vouch that I did not need my flashlight hiking the trails that night here in the NE.
Comment icon #64 Posted by White Unicorn 8 years ago
That's a big confession to make to  other none camera toting people on the forum!  Just imagine if it were a fast unpredicted event like a meteorite or even something else.  Oh well, we all miss some of our best opportunities.
Comment icon #65 Posted by White Unicorn 8 years ago
That's a great view of what it really looked like to me in the Northern Hemisphere too. I saw it coming up between a house and trees. I was was lucky it wasn't raining or foggy. Great job making it so realist as seen by the naked eye
Comment icon #66 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard 8 years ago
The kind of telescope I want is too big to move safely with just one person....probably too big for Santa to bring this Christmas.  
Comment icon #67 Posted by third_eye 8 years ago
Don't take this the wrong way but I must say the composition needs reworking ... the subject object / object subject ratio isn't right ... too heavy on one side of the frame and that white top of something else behind the semi trucks movers messes up everything ... an honest assessment, not criticism ... okay ? I must say the lighting and tint looks good ~ *did you zoom/enlarge in on the image or zoom lens the scene/site ? try a crop of the image maybe ?*
Comment icon #68 Posted by ChrLzs 8 years ago
How DARE you??!!!  Nah, joking, I like all critiques, especially those with constructive criticism.  It's always good to get opinions - makes me look at the images again and maybe do better next time (although I don't think I'll be around for the next time the Moon is closer than that..). No problem, and I agree it looks unbalanced.  In a way I don't mind that, as the shot is meant to be weird/otherworldly... (hahah any excuse.. ) , but yes, I could have spent a little more time on composing it better.  The reason I went for that particular zoom level is that I was restricted as to where... [More]
Comment icon #69 Posted by third_eye 8 years ago
pffft ... I'm more of a Pentax and Yashica kinda fella ... Kinda the Golden age of SLRs come to think of it ... or the dark ages of 35mm if you look at it from another angle ... I don't like zoomers ... I guess that's part of the studio effect on me ... the longest I use for outdoors is the 75-110 if I remember correctly ... so long ago now ... still not entirely convinced about the DSLRs ... I still can tell the difference between the film stock and digital CMOS/CCD images but I must also admit that I do get it wrong more often nowadays ... I guess that means I am losing my touch or the cmaer... [More]
Comment icon #70 Posted by ChrLzs 8 years ago
More photography talk below, sorry to other readers.... I sorta had two photography lives and two sets of camera equipment - I did professional work for a studio back in the 70's/80's (weddings and portraiture), but that was all medium format Bronicas mostly and an occasional Hasselblad.  For my amateur personal stuff I drifted through several systems, from Zenit (my first slr!) to Pentax for a long while, a brief dally with Nikon, but then fell in love with the Minolta X-700 body, loved their lenses and stuck with them from then on (although I do still own a Yashicamat TLR..). It took me ... [More]
Comment icon #71 Posted by third_eye 8 years ago
I get what you are saying here, my first experiences of those early days when I had to spend more time with the settings and menus than actually shooting and making a shot with confidence took its toll ... the most time I spent with one of those early ones was the Nikon first Gen DSLRs, company property, and the battery life sucked big time ... the memory cards at 256MB didn't help much either ... slow and cumbersome ... I guess I was scarred for life ... Yup ... Photography Tips and Tricks 101 ~ Frankly its not what you annoy people with but rather unaware of how you annoy people ... but I gu... [More]

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