For a hopeless romantic, nothing can be more romantic than the full moon at night. Walking down a path with the full moon above you is nothing short of amazing. However, in case anyone of you is wondering why the moon is extra big and bright tonight, it is not a coincidence. It is not part of any Hollywood special effect either. It is big and bright because the Earth is now experiencing what astronomers call a “supermoon”.
A supermoon occurs when the full moon coincides with the nearest point or perigee of its orbit.
Unbeknownst to many, the moon does not have a circular orbit around Earth. Instead, it has an average eccentricity of about 0.0549. That means, there is a point in time when the moon is at its closest to Earth and a time when it is farthest. These are called the perigee and apogee, respectively.
During perigee, the average distance between Earth and moon is around 405,400 kilometers. This, in effect, makes the moon appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter. This year?s supermoon will be the biggest and brightest in the last 68 years. The previous supermoon cycle occurred in 1948. The next one will occur after 18 years, Nov. 25, 2034.
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The good news is that the supermoon cycle will have a span of three months starting last October. However, November?s cycle is the biggest and brightest of them all.
Anyone living in Europe will be able to see the supermoon starting Monday night until early morning of Tuesday. Unfortunately, according to the mets office, there is a chance that it will be cloudy on Monday night. So for those who want to see it would need a bit more patience than usual as the moon might be hiding behind thick clouds.
From the land down under, the supermoon is best viewed just after sundown. In Sydney, that will be between 7:07PM to 7:40 PM. Meanwhile, in Brisbane, it is between 5:51PM and 6:33PM.
For those residing in the US and Canada, the best time to see the supermoon is early morning of Monday.
There will be no need to bring anything special, like a telescope or a pair of binoculars, to see the supermoon. However, you will need a tripod, a good enough camera or SLR, and a long-range telephoto lens for some photo-ops.
For more updates, be sure to check us out at TheBitbag.