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03 Dec 2017

Look up at the sky! Supermoon shines big and bright

All about the "only" supermoon of 2017

Get ready to witness a rare lunar event tonight at around 9:30pm IST (16:00 GMT) when the moon appears the biggest and brightest in 15 years as it comes closer to Earth.

This is the first (also the last) "Supermoon" of 2017; Earth's only natural satellite is going to appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter.

Do not miss out on this. Here's more!

In context

All about the "only" supermoon of 2017
What is a supermoon?


What is a supermoon?

A supermoon occurs when Moon isn't only full but also the closest to Earth, which makes it appear much bigger.

As the moon's orbit around Earth isn't a circle but rather an ellipse, Moon sometimes passes closer to and farther from Earth.

This full moon kicks off a "Supermoon Trilogy"; the next two supermoons would be sighted on 1 January and 31 January 2018.

Get up close with the moon!

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Also called Frosty Moon

Since this supermoon is happening in winter, it's also called "Frosty Moon" or "Cold Moon". Noah Petro of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said, "Supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the moon...not just that once but every chance they have!"


When is the best time?

Experts predict the moon will be the closest to Earth at 16:00 GMT, which is 9:30pm IST.

Apart from this, the best time to see the larger moon is during moonrise and moonset. Moon would appear bigger over the next few days too.

Though Moon appears 14% bigger and 30% brighter, the difference may not be noticeable to the human eye in some areas.

Where else can you watch it?

Those interested to view the supermoon rise online can watch the free webcast from the "Virtual Telescope Project" that starts at 160:00 GMT (9:30pm IST) on 3 December. Real-time pictures of Moon from across the world would be live streamed.

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