2017 supermoon rises this weekend

The last full moon of 2017 will appear especially plump and vibrant in the night sky on Sunday (Monday NZ time).

It will shine up to 30 per cent brighter, not only because it's close to Earth, but also because Earth will be nearing its closest to the sun in early January. Its distance from Earth would be 3,57,983 km. NASA officials said the second supermoon is coming on New Year's Day.

Unusual astronomical phenomenon called the Supermoon, or perigee moon.The orbit of the moon around the Earth in form is not a flawless circle, and a few stretches.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with the point in orbit in which the moon is closest to Earth.

The best time to watch this supermoon is when it is rising, as a rising moon appears larger than when it is well above the horizon.

2017 supermoon rises this weekend
2017 supermoon rises this weekend

The only supermoon of the year is slated for December 3, 2017, at precisely 15:47 UTC, according to EarthSky.org. "The farther side, is called 'apogee" and the closer side, is called 'perigee.' The full moons with a closest perigee seem to be approximately 14 percent bigger, and 30 percent more brillant, but close to the apogee in the moon's orbit.

"The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the Moon, not just that once but every chance they have!" says Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

What's the difference between a supermoon and a Blue Moon?

"As luck will have it, we will have Supermoons in January and February of 2018", Narlock said.

In the night of 4 December, the Moon will approach earth at a minimum distance for the first time in 6 years 362 thousand.

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