“Super-sized” Supermoon!

Nov. 10, 2016: Get out and take a good look at the moon Sunday night– we have another Supermoon to look forward to, as this one will be “super-sized”.

A quick refresher on the supermoon: the Moon’s orbit isn’t a perfect circle, but more like an ellipse, so there’s times when it’s closer to the Earth, and times when it’s farther away. Whenever there’s a full moon at the same time the Moon is closer in orbit, it looks a little brighter and bigger in the sky, hence the term “Supermoon”.

We’ll have a clear sky Sunday night, giving us a good shot at seeing an extra special occurrence. The moon hasn’t been this close to Earth since 1948, and won’t be this close again until 2034. On average, the moon is around 238,900 miles away from Earth, but Sunday night it will be 216,524 miles away. That roughly 20,000 mile difference should make the Moon appear 15% greater in size (by area; 7% larger across) and 16% brighter than average.

Click on image to zoom in.

Click on image to zoom in.

Will you notice much of a difference? Probably not, but you may notice a little bit of a change. Despite only a subtle difference, it should be a good night to get the family out and gaze at the Moon, especially with a telescope, and think and talk about how the Moon plays a role in our night sky. It should be a special sight to take in!

-Alex

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Posted under weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on November 10, 2016

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