November supermoon biggest in decades

supermoon
(Courtesy WOOD)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The full moon coming up this November will not only be a “supermoon” — it will also be the biggest supermoon to grace our skies in decades.

Our full moon will be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than usual, according to NASA. This will make it the biggest “supermoon” in almost 70 years! That might not seem like that much of a difference, but experts say even a small increase in closeness can have a decent visual effect.

A moon is considered a “supermoon” when it passes slightly closer to Earth in its orbit. According to NASA, “full moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon’s orbit. It is an ellipse with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other (apogee).”

moon-orbit-1Scientists say while the moon is essential for driving things like ocean tides, the effects on Earth from a supermoon are minimal.

This year’s pass will be especially close, making the moon appear extra-spectacular. A “closer than usual” pass to the Earth can happen even when the moon isn’t full, but the effect is much more noticeable when it is.

supermoon november 2016

This month, the full moon reaches complete fullness at 8:52 a.m. on Nov. 14, which means the moon might actually appear brighter and fuller the evening of Nov. 13 rather than the 14th. The moon will begin to rise at 5:13 p.m. on Nov. 13, just seven minutes before sunset. It will be completely dark that evening by 5:51 p.m. The bonus for all of us who want to view this rare, celestial event is that Storm Team 8 is forecasting clear skies Sunday night.

The next time the moon will be so close, full and bright is in 2034.

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