2017 supermoon rises this weekend

2017 supermoon rises this weekend

2017 supermoon rises this weekend

While there is no formal definition of a supermoon, it's typically considered a full moon that occurs at perigee. Since it is the second full moon of the month, it will also be a "blue moon", which only happens every two and a half years on average. At its perigee, the moon will be just 222,135 miles from Earth, almost 16,000 miles closer than it normally is throughout the year, according to NASA. There are times, then, that the moon is particularly close to the Earth.

According to National Geographic, this will be the fourth supermoon of the year; however it is the only one we will be able to see with the naked eye due to its close proximity to earth. That means during each month the moon is sometimes passing closer to the earth than others.

To see the moon at its most vivid, it's best to catch a glimpse just after sun down.

The only supermoon of the year is slated for December 3, 2017, at precisely 15:47 UTC, according to EarthSky.org.

The first - and final - supermoon of 2017 will begin around 8 p.m. Sunday and reach its perigee at 3:45 a.m. Monday. This makes the full moon appear even larger and luminous due to its increased proximity to the planet.

Supermoon Alert! Sunday's Full Moon Will Be 2017's Only Supermoon
2017 supermoon rises this weekend

This weekend, sky-watchers can look forward to a phenomenon that hasn't yet graced the skies this year: a supermoon.

Nichols says that despite the difference between a regular full moon and a supermoon, it is not as grand as it appears.

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

This optical illusion also occurs when watching the supermoon immediately after sunset (or before sunrise). "Some people perceive the rising moon as twice as large...", said Paranjpye.

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