The moon follows an elliptical orbit around our planet. That means, in certain positions, it’s closer to the Earth than in others.
Tonight is special because it’s a full-moon phase while the moon is at its closest position to the Earth. This coincidence hasn’t happened since 1948 and won’t happen again till 2034. The “supermoon” tonight will be 15% bigger and 30% brighter than the average moon.
When can I see the supermoon?
The best time to watch it is when the moon rises tonight (Nov. 14). Check your local moonrise time here. With the moon on the horizon, you’ll also get to experience the “moon illusion” where you can compare the moon to other relatable objects on the horizon making it appear bigger than when it is high up in the sky.
If you miss the moonrise, don’t worry; the supermoon will be around all night. You just need to ensure your view is not covered by the clouds.
If the clouds don’t clear up, don’t worry either; the large moon will be around for many days to come, even though it will no longer be in the full-moon phase.
The supermoon doesn’t seem different to me. Why?
In practice, because you have nothing to compare it to in the sky, you’re unlikely to be able to tell the difference between a supermoon and an average moon. That, however, shouldn’t stop you from appreciating the full moon.
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SOURCE: Quartz, Akshat Rathi