Supermoon 2017 will be Visible Sunday


This Sunday, December 3, this month's full moon will be a "supermoon"! But what is a supermoon? So, the moon will appear full as well as brighter and bigger than usual.

The best time to see the supermoon will be at 08:45 GMT (03:45 EST) on December 4, at which point the moon will be just 222,135 miles (357,492 kilometres) away from Earth.

Why? The timing has to be just right.

The average distance between the center of the Earth and the center of the Moon is 239,228 miles. At that point the moon will be 222,135 miles away from Earth - almost 16,000 miles closer than it normally is during the year, reports. Perigee is about 30,000 miles closer to Earth than apogee.

For a supermoon to happen, these need to line up - something that will occur this Sunday.

This occurs when the moon is full and at perigee simultaneously.

The distance between the moon and Earth constantly changes.

It takes the Moon just slightly over 27 days to fully orbit the Earth, and during this time the natural satellite reaches both its apogee and perigee. In fact, it's the only Super Moon we've had this year. It was the closest supermoon since 1948. The Moon will appear about 7% larger and up to 16% brighter than usual, so it will be tough to miss, even with a few clouds around.

Many assume it's hard to differentiate between a supermoon and a regular full moon.

The supermoon can be viewed with the naked eye between the moonrise time over the eastern horizon and the moonset time in the western horizon.

Most astronomers suggest watching the supermoon right after sunset and into moonrise, and minutes before the next sunrise as well.

This phenomenon is called moon illusion, and scientists still can't agree on what makes the moon appear larger and more distant when viewed on the horizon versus when it's high in the sky, though it might have something to do with how our minds perceive the moon in relation to the objects around it.

If you're dreading the beginning of Mercury Retrograde Dec. 3, you can counteract the smallest planet's bad mojo by setting your intentions under December's supermoon, which is happening the same day.