Supermoon to Light Up the Sky for the First Time in 2017

Muriel Hammond
December 1, 2017

This year has been spectacular for skywatchers.

The only supermoon of 2017 is rising on December 3.

The year's biggest, brightest supermoon is set to grace OR skies this Sunday.

In 2016 the moon was the closest its been to the Earth since 1984 and that distance won't be challenged again until 2034. Each month, the moon has an apogee and a perigee.

It's been a year since the visible supermoon last graced our skies, when the full moon was closest to the Earth. That's because the Earth is closer to the sun, and the sun's gravity tugs the moon closer to the Earth. The term was originally also used to referred to new moons at perigee, but since new moons are not visible from Earth, they're rarely called supermoons.

December's full moon - which is traditionally known as the Cold Moon - will appear in the sky 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than usual on Sunday (3).

The Moon will rise in the northeastern sky Saturday afternoon at 5:06 p.m. and will set in the northwestern sky Sunday morning at 6:45 a.m.

Still, don't sleep on the supermoon expected Sunday: It's the only one we'll see for all of 2017.

The best time to enjoy the supermoon is right after moonrise and before sunrise, when the moon is sitting on the horizon.

"To the untrained eye, the Moon will look no different", Faherty told Business Insider in an email.

When the supermoon is viewed low on the horizon, it appears huge.

But for those who can't wake up that early, the moon will still look bigger - and brighter - throughout the night.

To get an original shot, Ingalls suggests taking a picture that puts the moon in context of a local landmark, something that gives your photo a sense of place. Kerss also mentioned that looking directly at the Cold Moon this weekend, using the naked eye or even binoculars, is perfectly fine.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article