11 November 2016
The Moon does not orbit the Earth in a perfect circle, anymore than the Earth orbits the sun in one. That being the case, once every 29 days the Moon reaches its closest approach to Earth. IF that happens to be when the Moon is full, we get a very bright Moon. Astronomers have taken to calling it a “supermoon”. The closest approach every month also varies somewhat from year to year, but the odds of one of these really close approaches happening just as the Moon reaches the full phase are quite low.
Well, this Sunday night it will happen, and the full Moon will be an EXTRA-Supermoon! The Moon reaches full around Moonset Monday morning, so you can see it again Monday night as well, skies permitting. Here are some stats on it from my friend Joe Witte at NASA, but if you want a deep dive into the details, then go here.
Extra-supermoon — on Sunday night and Monday, Nov. 14 —
Last one was.. 1948.
Next extra-supermoon like this until 2034.
At perigee — the moon will be 14 percent closer to Earth
Monday: distance: 221,525 miles (the average is 238,855 miles)
The full moon appears that much larger in diameter
and because it is larger shines 30 percent more moonlight onto the Earth
Tide Effects: negligible for most part.
Nice video about the last BIG full Moon’s of the year here: