The Biggest SuperMoon in Nearly 70 Years this November


The Biggest SuperMoon in Nearly 70 Years this November

(AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
(AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Even though we had such similar events last year, this time, however, the SuperMoon will be the closest it has ever been from Earth since January 1948. On the eve of November 14, the moon will be 14 percent bigger and some 30 percent brighter than any other usual day. Next time this will happen will be on November 25, 2034, so it would be a good idea to see it this time because nobody knows what will be in store for us until that time.

What’s a SuperMoon?

As NASA puts it, the Moon has an elliptical orbit around the Earth. And when it is closest to us, it’s called “perigee” – being 48,280 km (30,000 miles) closer to Earth – than when it’s at the “apogee” – when it’s at its furthest. And when the Moon, Earth, and Sun, all line-up, the phenomenon is known as a “syzygy”. When this happens, and the Earth is in between the Moon and the Sun, we have what’s called a “perigee-syzygy”. When this happens, we have a SuperMoon. And as many may have suspected, these kinds of moons are not so uncommon. There was one on October 16, and there will be another on December 14.

But since this SuperMoon will become full within 2 hours of perigee, it will look the biggest in almost 70 years.

“The full moon of November 14 is not only the closest full moon of 2016, but also the closest full moon to date in the 21st century,” says NASA. “The full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until 25 November 2034.”

There are some things to keep in mind, though, when you’ll be looking at the SuperMoon. Every time we look at the moon, during perigee, or apogee, we’re witnessing a phenomenon known as “moon illusion.”  All of us who’ve watched the moon rise in the night sky have noticed how it got smaller and smaller as it went on. This is because when the moon is close to the horizon, we have something to compare it too, like buildings, trees and the like. When it’s high in the sky, there isn’t anything to put it in relation to, so it will appear smaller. This is som+ething which you should take into account if you decide to watch the SuperMoon this November 14.

“When the moon is near the horizon, it can look unnaturally large when viewed through trees, buildings, or other foreground objects,” says NASA. “The effect is an optical illusion, but that fact doesn’t take away from the experience.”

As usual, the SuperMoon can be best observed from somewhere dark, away from street lights, if possible. The absolute biggest will be expected to be at 8:52 AM EST (1352 GMT) on November 14. For those on the other side of the world, like Australia, you’ll ave to wait until November 15 when the Moon will reach its full phase at 12:52 AM AEST.