I have had the privilege twice recently to be driving home during a brilliant red sunset, and to see the moon rise on the horizon of a dark blue sky. That sight never ceases to amaze me. The last full moon of the year will be a supermoon, the only supermoon this year. It will be in the sky as a full moon on December 3, 2017 at 15:47 UTC,* and as a supermoon on December 4, 2017 at 8:42 UTC.*
What is a Supermoon?
It is a full moon that appears substantially brighter and bigger than an ordinary full moon. It gets this look of brightness and bigness because, for the month of December, the full moon in its elliptical orbit will be nearest to Earth. Astronomers call this a perigee full moon, and it actually appears “up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual.” (Space)
For example, the full moon distance from the Earth will be 357,987 while the supermoon distance will be 495 km closer at 357,492 km. (EarthSky)
If you have a cloudy sky on Sunday (which often happens here at my home), check out the on-line view from the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome.
*Translate UTC to your time zone.
Thank you Deborah Byrd of EarthSky for keeping me up-to-date on all things related to the sky.
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