Three Super Moons to Be Observed between December and January

Three Super Moons to Be Observed between December and January

This last full moon of the year is known as a Frost Moon, Cold Moon or Moon Before Yule. Supermoons happen when a full moon is closest to earth in its orbit. Since the moon's orbit is elliptical, one side (apogee) is about 30,000 miles (50,000 km) farther from Earth than the other (perigee). There are times, then, that the moon is particularly close to the Earth.

According to Michelle Nichols, director of public observing at Chicago's Adler Planetarium, there is a reason behind the moon's captivating close approach to the Earth. It is anticipated that it will be within 222,443 miles from our planet at 4 pm on December 4.

The only supermoon of 2017 is happening on Sunday night-the moon will appear 7 percent larger and 16 percent brighter-and there will be at least two live streams available to help you watch it.

That combination will make the moon seem about 14 percent larger in diameter than usual this weekend, NASA said.

The Moon will lose its brightness and take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow from the scant sunlight that makes its way through Earth's atmosphere. If you want to celebrate the year's most super supermoon as a holiday for moongazers, I don't see anything wrong with that. The weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies on Sunday night, and you can check the National Weather Service's graphical forecast for a more specific prediction.

Or, you know-you could just look out your window. This effect is termed as "moon illusion".

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"Often I find when the moon is near the horizon I have a better chance of incorporating it with a landmark or person, but there are no rules and sometimes a tall object such as the Washington Monument here in D.C. can be used when the moon is at a very high angle".

The January 31 supermoon will also be the second full Moon of the month.

A supermoon occurs when there is a full moon at or near the point where the moon reaches perigee.

Will you be sky-watching on Monday night?

What's the difference between a supermoon and a Blue Moon?

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