Watch for 2017's first and last supermoon


Watch for 2017's first and last supermoon

This particular supermoon will be 17 percent brighter and seven percent larger than a typical full moon.

December's full moon will mark the beginning of a series SUPERLINE, two supertunia expected in January, which happens very rarely. This is rare because as the Earth revolves around the sun, the moon's orientation to Earth stays mostly the same.

The last full moon of 2017 will appear especially plump and vibrant in the night sky this weekend.

"If you stretch out your arm at full length, and stretch out your thumb, and compare the size of the full moon in the sky to the size of your thumb, you'll notice the width of the full moon compared to the size of your thumb; you can put four full moons across the width of your thumb".

However, December's full moon is the only visible supermoon.

The full moon will rise in the cold, dark afternoon hours on Sunday December 3, before setting on the horizon the following Monday. Other native American tribes called it the Long Nights Moon because it occurs close to the winter solstice, the shortest night of the year, The Old Farmer's Almanac explained.

Of course, while its popularly referred to as a supermoon, if you're speaking with a scientist they will likely refer to this event as "perigee syzygy", as this event involves the alignment of the Moon, Earth and Sun.

On Sunday, stargazers, astronomers and curious sky-watchers will get a chance to witness the first and only supermoon of 2017.

EarthSky notes this January super blue moon "will pass right through the Earth's shadow" making for a super blue moon eclipse!

A full moon at perigee can be up to 14 percent larger in diameter than a full moon at apogee.

Due to the moon's elliptical orbit, the distance between the moon and Earth varies throughout the month and the year.

"Its closest point is the perigee, which is an average distance of about 363,300 km from Earth".

The supermoon on November 14, 2016 was at a distance of 221,526 miles. From my old view, when the moon was high in the sky outside of my window, it appeared that it was close enough that I could throw a lasso around it and pull it right into my apartment. The two full moons in January 2018 - on January 2 and 31 - also count as supermoons.

These are particularly high tides that can influence the oceans and raise sea level by a number of inches.



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