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Once in a Supermoon

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Photo Courtesy Of Ted Ensminger

Emerald G. Parsons, Greene Publishing, Inc.

A supermoon, which occurs when a full moon is at its closest point to Earth along its orbit, graced our skies during this past week. The moon became officially full on Monday, Nov. 14 at 8:52 a.m. but appeared to be full, to the common eye, days before and after the main event.

This Supermoon has been closer to the Earth than at any time since January 1948.

During this spectacular event, the moon appears about 14 percent larger in diameter and 30 percent brighter than when it is at its farthest distance from the Earth.

While Supermoons occur around every 13 months, November’s has been a phenomenal one because it became full within about two hours of perigee (the point in the orbit of the moon at which it is nearest to the earth), making it an extra special Supermoon. During this spectacular Supermoon, the moon was estimated to be at a distance of approximately 356,509 km from Earth.

The moon won’t come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034.

Last month’s full moon, on Oct. 16, was also a Supermoon but the November full moon was even more spectacular because of the moon’s proximity to Earth. Once more, we will also experience another Supermoon next month, on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

Be sure to mark your calendars to experience this special treat next month.  But, remember the best time to enjoy a Supermoon is after moonrise when the moon is just above the horizon.  At this position, a Supermoon will look bigger and brighter than when it’s higher up in the sky because you can compare the apparent size against landscape elements such as hills, trees, and buildings.

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