Published: Sun, December 03, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Look east! 2017 supermoon rises tonight

Look east! 2017 supermoon rises tonight

The moon will appear about 16 percent brighter and 7 percent larger than normal, according to astronomers.

Arvind Paranjpye, director of the Nehru Planetarium at Nehru Centre, Mumbai, told The Indian Express that the supermoon appears to be nearly 14 per cent larger and about 30 per cent brighter than the normal full moon, as seen from Earth. This is due to an optical illusion that makes the super moon appear much bigger and brighter than it will look when it rises higher in the sky.

In December, the moon will be closest to the Earth on December 4 at 2.15 pm (IST), when it will be 3,57, 492 km away from Earth. If the moon is a full moon and also if it is at perigee, it will be bigger and brighter and if the full moon is at apogee, it will be smaller and less bright than usual.

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A new moon is the first phase in the lunar cycle that occurs when the moon is in conjunction with the sun - but is not visible from Earth. Hence, for those in the Northern hemisphere, it is a cold supermoon. This supermoon will be the first in the series of three consecutive full moon supermoons, the next two to occur in January.

Supermoons are squishy because there's no official astronomical definition of the term.

You'll be able to watch the supermoon starting on Sunday Dec. 3.

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When the supermoon is viewed low on the horizon, it appears huge. "Don't be so focused on your sensor that you miss such an otherworldly sight", they said.

This weekend will be a good time to relax, look up at the sky and take in the glowing moon. This is known as the moon illusion and the moon hasn't grown; it's a trick your eyes are playing on you.

Nichols says that despite the difference between a regular full moon and a supermoon, it is not as grand as it appears.

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If you won't be able to witness the Supermoon on Sunday, don't worry because there will be a few more in the near future.

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