Biggest supermoon in decades

The biggest supermoon since 1948 is expected for Monday night. (Nov. 11, 2016)

This month’s record-breaking supermoon will be the biggest and brightest in almost 70 years!  This super event happens the eve of Nov. 14 and will not occur again until 2034.  

What is a supermoon?  When the full moon comes closest to earth, it’s called a supermoon.  During this time, the moon appears 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than usual.  

Supermoons are not uncommon.  We had one last month and another occurs in December, but this one is rare because the moon comes closer to earth than it has since 1948. 

How do you get a super moon?  The moon, like most planets, has an elliptical orbit.  On one side, called the perigee, the moon comes 30,000 miles closer to earth than on the apogee, the other side.  Every once in a while, the moon, sun, and earth line up.  This is called syzygy.  Don’t forget these words, perigee, apogee, and syzygy.  They may come in handy the next time you play trivia with a bunch of science geeks!

When the moon, earth, and sun line-up on the perigee side of the moon’s orbit, with the moon on the opposite of the earth from the sun, it’s called a perigee-syzygy. 

When this happens, the moon appears much bigger and brighter than usual and is called a perigee moon - otherwise known as a supermoon.

This November, the moon becomes full within 2 hours of perigee, which means, it will look the biggest and brightest in decades.

If you want the maximum effect, look at the supermoon when it’s on the horizon.  It’s an illusion, but this is when the moon will look its biggest.  This is true even with an average full moon because objects, like buildings and trees are in the foreground, and make the moon appear bigger than when you look at the moon when its directly overhead. 

So, this Monday night, get a date. Tell her or him, "we’re going to see a moon bigger than we’ve ever seen before."  They will be amazed! 

Copyright 2016 KXTV


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