Supermoon 2017 will be Visible Sunday

Supermoon 2017 will be Visible Sunday

This will be the first time in 2017 when a supermoon lines up with a full moon. Why are they so rare?

The cool thing about a supermoon coinciding with a full moon is that the Moon will appear brighter and bigger, hints the name supermoon. While the full moon rises about once per month, a supermoon can only occur a few times per year maximum.

The moonrise will appear at similar times across the United Kingdom, with just a few minute differences from the north to the south. In order to be classified as a supermoon the Moon must come within 224,936 miles of Earth, which is within 10% of the closest distance the Moon comes to Earth in its orbit.

Supermoon 2017 stock image
GETTYThe supermoon 2017 is the full moon's closest approach to Earth

Because the moon's orbit is elliptical instead of round, it has a point closest to the earth (perigee) and a point farthest from the Earth (apogee).

'Comparing a supermoon with a typical full moon from memory is very hard'.

It takes the Moon just slightly over 27 days to fully orbit the Earth, and during this time the natural satellite reaches both its apogee and perigee. Another major hallmark of a supermoon is that the Earth, moon and sun are all perfectly aligned. Be on the lookout on January 2 and January 31 of the New Year for more big, attractive moons. If you've ever been driving and been caught off guard by a giant rising moon right after sunset, then you know that this is when a full moon looks the most dramatic.

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However it will appear large and bright throughout Sunday night after hitting the largest point in the afternoon.

"The supermoon gets headlines because the moon's a little bigger and a little brighter, but people get frustrated that they can't always tell the difference".

When the supermoon is viewed low on the horizon, it appears huge.

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Unlike a solar eclipse, a supermoon can be viewed without any kind of eye protection, so you won't have to worry with getting special viewing glasses for this phenomenon.

But for those who can't wake up that early, the moon will still look bigger - and brighter - throughout the night.

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