Mr Tavernier added: "Full moons can occur at any point along the Moon's elliptical path, but when a full moon occurs at or near the perigee, it looks slightly larger and brighter than a typical full moon".
The first (and last) "supermoon" of 2017 is on its way, finally giving eager moonwatchers a chance to catch the rare celestial spectacle up close and personal.
It won't be quite as bright as the last one on November 14, 2016, when the moon was closer to Earth than at any time in almost 69 years. 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, Space.com reports. The moon will look bigger when it is near the horizon and framed with a building or object on the foreground. According to Nadia Drake for National Geographic, while the moon seems to grow smaller and closer as it rises higher into the sky, it's actually not changing size, nor is it any closer to Earth than it was during its rise. It also shines 30% more moonlight, according to NASA. Another major hallmark of a supermoon is that the Earth, moon and sun are all perfectly aligned.
Have you ever glimpsed a supermoon without realizing what it was?
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When the supermoon is viewed low on the horizon, it appears huge.
This optical illusion also occurs when watching the supermoon immediately after sunset (or before sunrise). However, that's not necessarily the best time to see it. National Geographic reported that the best time to view this bright beauty is right after sunset on December 3 when the Full Cold Moon rises. This occurs when the moon is full and at perigee simultaneously. "Then slide your finger up or down to darken or lighten the exposure".
Many assume it's hard to differentiate between a supermoon and a regular full moon. There isn't any real astronomical significance to a supermoon, and we only recently began to take notice of it.
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