See the Brightest Supermoon of 2017

On the night of December 3 2017, sky-watchers around the world will get a chance to revel under the first—and last—full supermoon of the year.

This December 2017 full moon officially occurs at 9:17 p.m. IST (15:47 UT) on the 3rd. Less than a day later, the lunar orb will make its closest approach to Earth for the month, coming within 222,443 miles of our planet at 3:30 p.m. ET (9:00 UT) on the 4th. That means the moon on the day of December 4 will appear about seven percent larger and 16 percent brighter than usual.

A supermoon is the popular term for a full or new moon that coincides with the lunar orb making an especially close approach to Earth. The moon’s orbit around Earth is not a perfect circle but is somewhat elongated. That means the moon changes its distance to Earth by a few thousand miles over time, reaching a closest point (perigee) and a farthest point (apogee) in any given month.

Technically, this will be the fourth supermoon of the year, but it’s the only one we’ve been able to see with naked eyes. That’s because the other three supermoons of 2017 coincided with new moons, when the lunar disk shows a totally darkened face.

Courtesy: NGC

Tags: SuperMoon, Moon