Got any plans for this evening (14 November)? Well whatever they are you might want to consider rearranging as you’re officially invited to a record-breaking supermoon.
The moon, which will be the biggest in nearly seventy years, should excite even the most amateur of astronomers, as it will appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than your average nightly moon.
What Is A Supermoon?
NASA explains that a supermoon occurs when the sun, moon and earth line up, known as Syzygy, as the moon orbits our planet.
Why Is This Supermoon Special?
Syzygy (one to remember for your next game of Scrabble) does happen pretty regularly: “Generally speaking, full moons occur near perigee every 13 months and 18 days, so it’s not all that unusual,” Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory told NASA Science News.
But what makes the 14 November extra special is that it becomes a full moon without two hours of perigee - the point at which it is the closest to Earth that it comes in its orbit.
This supermoon will be around 30,000 miles closer to the earth than at the furthest point on its orbit (the “apogee moon”).
So This Won’t Happen Again In 13 Months?
Not only does it look pretty special (just think of all the Instagram opportunities people) but this is the first time this natural phenomenon has occurred since January 1948.
And it won’t be happening again until 25 November 2034: so it is probably worth saving the Netflix box set for another night.
Where Can I See The Supermoon?
For the best view, you don’t need any special equipment or a telescope; just try to be in a less populated area for minimal light pollution.
The moon will also appear larger or smaller, depending on your view point. If you are looking straight up into the sky, it will appear less impressive than if it is nearer the horizon, where you are more likely to have buildings for scale.
What Time Can I See The Supermoon?
The moon will rise at 16:43 in Edinburgh and at 16:44 in London.