By Ben Olson
Stargazers have a spectacular treat in store for them on Monday, Nov. 14: a big freakin’ supermoon.
Not only is November’s full moon a “supermoon”—which appears 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than an apogee full moon—it will also be the closest to the Earth since January 1948. According to NASA, we won’t see the full moon this close again until Nov. 25, 2034.
Since the moon’s orbit around Earth is elliptical path, there are times when our satellite is closer to Earth than others. This is called perigee. Apogee refers to the moon being the furthest from Earth on its elliptical orbit. This month, the perigee occurs on Nov. 14—within two hours of the moon becoming officially full—making this moon “super.”
The distance between Earth and the moon can range from 221,208 miles at its closest possible point to 252,898 miles at its farthest. That’s a difference of nearly 32,000 miles. This month, the moon will get within 221,524 miles of Earth—just 316 miles from its nearest possible location.
Unfortunately, without any scale of reference to compare it to, the supermoon is difficult to perceive as brighter or bigger with the naked eye. I guess you’ll you just have to take our word for it.
The supermoon will rise on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 4:11 p.m. to the east-northeast and will set on Monday, Nov. 14, at 6:41 p.m. to the west-northwest. The best chance to see it will be Sunday evening after dark.
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