Written by Bryce Getchell | @Porkfryedbryce
Several times a year stargazers are able to witness what is called a Supermoon.
A Supermoon is the term coined to describe the Moon when it is closer to Earth than usual and gives the illusion of being much noticeable larger than it normally appears.
For the Moon to be considered a Supermoon, it needs to be less than 223,000 miles from the Earth, which is around 6% closer than its average distance. At this time, the Moon will appear about 7% larger than normal.
You may be thinking to yourself “Only 7% larger? That doesn’t seem right?” Oh but it is, while the media will hype up nearly every Supermoon, saying they will be around 14% larger than normal, they are usually comparing it to the smallest full Moon of the year.
If you were hoping to see a giant Moon, don’t be discouraged! If you view the Supermoon along the horizon, the Moon will appear to be much larger than 7%! This is due to an illusion called the Ponzo Illusion.
Hopefully you are now getting excited to see a Supermoon for yourself. Well you are in luck, not only is there a Supermoon coming up in just a few days, but it will be appear to be the largest Supermoon in nearly 70 years!
On November 14th of this year, you will have the rare opportunity to view a super Supermoon. During this time, the Moon may appear to be twice as large and twice as bright as a normal Supermoon. This is because the Moon will be even closer than average. The last time we saw a Supermoon similar to this one was back in 1948, and we shouldn’t expect to see another until 2034!
So on Monday, pull out your lawn chairs and grab a warm beverage to witness the beauty of our Moon at its closest. The Moon turns full precisely at 8:52am EST or 5:52am PST. Just be careful if you are on the beach, as the Supermoon may cause slightly larger tides.