Supermoon Alert! Sunday's Full Moon Will Be 2017's Only Supermoon

View of the supermoon from Japan

View of the supermoon from Japan

When the moon reaches perigee (that's the scientific term) twice in the same month, it's a called a "blue moon". If you don't catch the show this time, the first two full moons of 2018 in January will both be Supermoons. The next time the moon will come that close to the Earth will be on November 25, 2034. The moon's orbit around our planet is tilted so it usually falls above or below the shadow of 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.

And this will be a particularly bright supermoon for the United States, thanks to the more intense sunlight that reflects off the moon in winter, NASA said.

The moon will appear about 16 percent brighter and 7 percent larger than normal, according to astronomers. But that doesn't mean this weekend's supermoon won't be attractive - expect a full moon at least 7% bigger and 16% brighter than usual.

This weekend will be a good time to relax, look up at the sky and take in the glowing moon.

An aircraft taking off from Ronald Reagan National Airport is seen passing in front of the Moon as it rises Sunday Dec. 3 2017 in Washington D.C
An aircraft taking off from Ronald Reagan National Airport is seen passing in front of the Moon as it rises Sunday Dec. 3 2017 in Washington D.C

It'll be almost full Saturday night with clear skies for viewing. Even so, the supermoon is still worth viewing. "Don't be so focused on your sensor that you miss such an otherworldly sight", they said. It appears the biggest and brightest during this time because of a "moon illusion" effect, which is created when you're able to compare the moon to other objects for scale.

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

Will you be sky-watching on Monday night?

The supermoon will be visible until the morning of 4 December. "But it's another great chance to watch the Moon".

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