Sci-tech

How to see this year's only supermoon

How to see this year's only supermoon”

This Sunday, Idahoans will be treated to a bigger, brighter moon in the evening sky.

Supermoons occur because of the shape of the moon's orbit around Earth.

While it has been a year since a visible supermoon last lit up the sky, everyone in the world has a chance to marvel at this upcoming full moon. Most astronomers suggest watching the supermoon right after sunset and into moonrise, and minutes before the next sunrise as well. The moon won't be quite as full that night but will still look bigger and brighter than usual. The moon will reach its perigee on Monday, Dec. 4 at 3:45 a.m. ET and be 222,135 miles (357,492 kilometers) away from Earth.

Unlike most meteor showers that are the result of Earth passing through a debris stream left behind by a passing comet, the Geminids have debris from a large asteroid as thier source.

You'll have to wait a few nights for the moon to come up later so you can see the stars.

The distance between the moon and Earth constantly changes. This non-circular orbit means that the moon ends up coming a bit closer to Earth at certain times of the year. This occurs on December 4.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, we are getting an extra-super supermoon because supermoons in the winter months look larger. The scientific term is "perigee syzygy".

"A supermoon occurs when the moon is full and it is at its closest point in its orbit to the Earth, which is called perigee", says Jackson.

There are interesting skywatching events every year, but 2017 has been particularly generous, with the eclipse drawing millions to peer skyward and plenty of cool moon action as well, but it's still not done. Look toward the bottom of the Moon and you will quickly spot light coloured Tycho and the rays spreading out from this large crater.

Part of it depends on where you're viewing the supermoon. When it sits just above the horizon, the moon appears bigger and brighter than when it's higher in the sky. Supermoon, also known as "cold moon" will appear in the skies of the United Kingdom.

If you want to catch the full moon right at its perigee, those of us on the East Coast will need to stay up super (moon) late or set your alarm for an extra-early wake-up call to get outside in the wee hours of Monday, Dec. 4 (3:45 a.m. ET, to be exact).



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