Supermoon today: Don’t miss the largest moon of this year!

December 3, 2017
Published in SCI-TECH




NEWS DESK: A larger than normal full moon was seen in different parts of the world yesterday. The Full Cold Moon, however, rises tonight (Sunday, December 3) and will be the first and last 'supermoon' of this year.

A supermoon is a full moon or a new moon that approximately coincides with the closest distance that the Moon reaches to Earth in its elliptic orbit, resulting in a larger-than-usual apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth. This makes the moon appear up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than usual.

"The next full Moon will be Sunday morning, Dec. 3, 2017, appearing "opposite" the Sun (in Earth-based longitude) at 10:47 AM EST," said NASA's report on its website. "The Moon will appear full for about three days centered on this time, from later on Friday night through early Monday evening, making this another full Moon weekend."

As the last full Moon of Autumn, this Moon is known as the Frost Moon or the Moon Before Yule, said NASA's report. "Since this full Moon occurs about 17 hours before perigee (the Moon's closest approach to the Earth in its orbit), this full Moon is the first of three supermoons," it read. "At the time of the full Moon, the Moon will be will only be 492 km (306 miles) further away from the Earth than it will be at its closest (perigee), making it appear 13.6% larger in diameter and 29% larger in area than if it were the distance of apogee on December 18, 2017. In addition, because the Earth will be at its closest to the Sun (called perihelion) in early January, the sunlight reaching and reflecting off the Moon this time of year is about 7% more intense (than at aphelion in early July), making winter-time supermoons even brighter."

Exact timings

According to www.space.com, the moon becomes totally full at 10:47 a.m. EST (1547 GMT) on Sunday (Dec. 3). It will officially reach perigee less than 24 hours later on Monday (Dec. 4) at 3:45 a.m. EST (0845 GMT), when it is 222,135 miles (357,492 kilometers) away from Earth.

First of three

"December's supermoon is actually the first of three back-to-back supermoon full moons to come in the next two months," according to www.space.com. "On Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, the full moon will also occur near the moon's arrival at perigee, according to NASA, which billed the line up as a supermoon trilogy. The Jan. 31 supermoon is also the second full moon of January, making it a Blue Moon, and also occurs during a total lunar eclipse."

People in Lahore have already seen a bigger moon. Here's hoping that you won't miss your chance to see the beautiful full moon!
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Story first published: 3rd December 2017

 

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