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How to see biggest supermoon in almost 70 years

Posted in Science on 11th Nov, 2016 12:42 PM by AlexMuller

If you go outside at night on 13/14 November, you might see an amazing supermoon up in the night sky, which means the moon will be very big and bright. There was a supermoon last month but this one is particularly special. That's because it will be the biggest and brightest that it has been since 1948 - that's almost 70 years!

Two things have to happen for there to be a supermoon. Firstly, it must be a full moon. Secondly, the moon must be at a point during its orbit where it is particularly close to Earth. The moon orbits the Earth in an oval shape, and sometimes it is closer to the Earth than at other times.
When the moon is at the stage when it is closest to Earth, this is called its perigee. When it is further away, this is the moon's apogee.
The reason that the supermoon this month is particularly special is because the moon will be even closer to Earth than it has been for decades, so it will be bigger and brighter than you will ever have seen in your entire life!
Usually, a supermoon is about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than a full moon when it is further away from the Earth.
Go out at night and have a look at the sky on the night of 13 or 14 November. Try to go somewhere where there aren't many other lights, as this can distract from how bright the moon is and how easily you can see it.

Tags: spacemoonskyastronomySupermoon

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