This weekend promises a dazzling sight for stargazers and romantics alike. Sunday’s supermoon will not only be the biggest and brightest of the year, it’s also the first and last of 2017.
National Geographic says look up to the sky on December 3rd. The full moon will make its closest approach to earth. So, it’ll appear seven percent larger and 16 percent brighter.
When the moon reaches its closest point, called perigee, it’ll be approximately 222,443 miles away. The best time to see it will be at 4am Monday morning.
But, the most spectacular show starts just as the moon begins to rise Sunday night.
Although, it may seem a little tough to see a difference with the naked eye because it’s so far away. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be beautiful.
Astronomer Marek Kukula explains what makes Sunday’s moon so special:
“The differences in apparent size and brightness amount to few percent but they can enhance the already beautiful sight of the full moon, making a supermoon worth looking up for.”
On a side note: although this technically is the first and last supermoon of the year, 3 other supermoons did happen in 2017. You just weren’t able to see them.
The past three supermoons coincided with the new moon, so there was nothing to see.
And, should clouds conceal the supermoon on Sunday, you can always tune into the Virtual Telescope Project livestream. Although, that’s technically not the same thing. But, it it something.
Thankfully, two supermoons start off 2018, with a full moon on January 2nd and another on the 31st.
But, if you wish to see the only supermoon of 2017, now you know when to look for it.