14 Nov 2016

Supermoon: Watch Out For The Brightest Moon in 68 Years Today

Skywatchers are preparing for Monday night's 'supermoon' as Earth's satellite makes its closest approach since 1948. 

The moon on Monday will appear both brighter and bigger, although the human eye is barely able to discern the difference.

At exactly 1352 GMT (2:52pm Nigerian Time) on Monday, the moon is set to become its fullest at the same time as it makes its closest pass to Earth, causing it to appear unusually large, according to astronomers.

The rare proximity of Monday's "spectacular supermoon" to Earth means it will appear 30-per-cent brighter and 14-per-cent bigger as it reaches just 356,509 kilometres from Earth, according to NASA.

Since the moon's orbit around Earth is elliptical, its distance to the planet varies between lunar cycles.


Stargazers are not set to witness another supermoon on this scale for another 18 years, when the moon nears Earth again in November 2034.

People looking to catch a glimpse of the supermoon in areas where clouds are forecast on Monday can still see an unusually large moon on Sunday, before it reaches its full brightness the next day, according to NASA.

The last time a full moon was this close to earth was in 1948, while in 1912 it was even larger, coming 134 kilometres closer to earth.


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