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Supermoon: Nov. 14 moon to be biggest, brightest in 60 years

The full moon appears that much larger in diameter as it makes its closest pass to Earth and because it is larger, shines 30 per cent more moonlight onto the Earth
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Wherever you be on this Earth on November 14, don’t forget to gaze at the moon and possible click its photographs as the moon will be the biggest and brightest it has been in more than 60 years. So long as the sky is clear of clouds, it should be a great time to do some moon gazing.

The moon is a familiar sight in our sky, brightening dark nights and reminding us of space exploration. But the upcoming supermoon — on Monday, Nov. 14 — will be especially “super” because it’s the closest full moon to Earth since 1948. We won’t see another supermoon like this until 2034.

The moon’s orbit around Earth is slightly elliptical so sometimes it is closer and sometimes it’s farther away. When the moon is full as it makes its closest pass to Earth, it is known as a supermoon. At perigree — the point at which the moon is closest to Earth — the moon can be as much as 14 per cent closer to Earth than at apogee, when the moon is farthest from our planet. The full moon appears that much larger in diameter and because it is larger, shines 30 per cent more moonlight onto the Earth.

“The difference in distance from one night to the next will be very subtle, so if it’s cloudy on Sunday, go out on Monday. Any time after sunset should be fine. Since the moon is full, it’ll rise at nearly the same time as sunset, so I’d suggest that you head outside after sunset, or once it’s dark and the moon is a bit higher in the sky. You don’t have to stay up all night to see it, unless you really want to,” said Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission.

This is actually the second of three supermoons in a row, so if the clouds don’t cooperate for you this weekend, you will have another chance next month to see last supermoon of 2016 on Dec. 14.

 

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