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The only supermoon of 2017 is happening on Sunday night—the moon will appear 7 percent larger and 16 percent brighter—and there will be at least two live streams available to help you watch it.
To be clear: a supermoon is literally just the moon. There's no eclipse happening, no weird colors, nothing is landing on it. The moon will appear bigger and brighter, although it will pale in comparison to last November’s supermoon, which was about 14 percent bigger and shone about 30 percent brighter, The Guardian noted.
But the next supermoon that will rival 2016’s isn’t expected until 2034, according to NASA, and there are plenty of reasons to look at and admire the night sky on any night, as Ryan Mandelbaum argued in Gizmodo.)
Supermoons of all sizes happen because the moon’s orbit is not quite circular and the Earth isn’t quite at the center of it. There are times, then, that the moon is particularly close to the Earth. Supermoons occur when the moon is as close as it can be to the Earth while it’s also a full moon—which happens at the time of the month when the sun and the moon line up with Earth in between them.
It’s not a guarantee that the moon will always be at its closest when it’s a full moon; it was actually far closer on May 25, Space.com noted, but it was a new moon, not a full one. And there was almost a supermoon in November, but the perigee—the day when the moon is closest—was the day before it turned into a full moon.
It is December, so it's understandable if you don't really want to go outside or wait for the moon to reach its peak on the East Coast. (That won't happen until 4 a.m. on December 4 when the moon is a little over 222,000 miles away from the Earth.) For those would prefer to check out the supermoon from the comfort of the climate-controlled indoors, there are at least two live stream options. One is offered by the Virtual Telescope Project based in Rome. For those who have a membership to Slooh, an astronomically-inclined streaming outlet, there will also be a stream with two hosts.
Or, you know—you could just look out your window....Read more