‘Extra-supermoon’ to be brightest since 1948; 2 of 3 this year

ST. GEORGE – Monday night’s full moon is expected to be spectacular as the moon comes closer to Earth than any full moon since 1948. The moon won’t be this close to the Earth again until November 2034.

Supermoons are larger and brighter than usual because the moon is closer to the Earth, and Monday’s full moon, which will rise around 6 p.m., promises to be extra-special, according to information from NASA.

The distance between the Earth and the moon varies over time because the moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle but rather elliptical, or egg-shaped.

This elliptical orbit brings the moon about 30,000 miles closer to the Earth at times – which is called perigee. When the full moon occurs around the time of perigee, the result is a supermoon.

Monday’s full moon occurs within about two hours of perigee, making it an “extra-super moon,” NASA information states.

Supermoons can be as much as 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than when the moon is farther from Earth, NASA states.

This supermoon is one of a series of three, occurring Oct. 16, Nov. 14 and Dec. 14.

The Dec. 14 supermoon will occur during the Geminid meteor shower – moonlight reduces visibility of meteor up to ten-fold, NASA states.

Use of the term supermoon in popular culture is a recent phenomenon, according to information from NASA.

The term was originally used by astronomers to describe a new or full moon that is within 90 percent of the moon’s closest approach to Earth. It is now used to refer to a full moon that is closer to the Earth than average.

November’s full moon was known as the “Beaver Moon” by both colonists and early Native American tribes  because this was the time of year to set the beaver traps before the swamps and rivers froze, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. It has also been known as the “Frost Moon.”

According to the National Weather Service, clear skies are expected Monday night.

Email: japplegate@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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6 Comments

  • ladybugavenger November 12, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Superman logo on the moon….lol made my day!

  • .... November 12, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I sure hope I have time to go out and take a look at it because I’m really busy staying unemployed . it takes up most of my time.

  • John November 13, 2016 at 7:27 am

    This is complete hype. No one will ever notice without some pretty sensitive measuring devices that the moon is any bigger or brighter than at any other time — the difference is too little to perceive with the eye alone. That’s why this is a “new” term — no one thought to bother about it until one fellow came up with it a few years ago as a publicity stunt, and everyone has jumped on it. By one definition half the full moons are “supermoons.” Do go look at and enjoy the moon — always a good idea — but you won’t notice anything special on Monday.

    • ladybugavenger November 13, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      You mean that I’m not going to see the Superman logo on the moon? haha

      • .... November 14, 2016 at 12:54 pm

        You wont be able to see it from Oklahoma any way

  • .... November 13, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Wow I’m absolutely amazed I made a comment and RealLowlife hasent come in to say something nice to me ? LOL ! now that’s some funny stuff right there

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