A supermoon, which last occurred in January 26, 1948, is set to occur this coming Nov. 14. A supermoon or perigee moon is when the moon is full and orbiting close to Earth, making it appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an apogee full moon.
The upcoming supermoon will be the closest it has been in the 21st century. The same event won’t happen again until November 25, 2034.
Nevertheless, the November supermoon is actually one of three supermoons expected to appear this year. The first one occurred in Oct. 16 and the third one will occur in Dec. 14.
The supermoon of December will block out the view of the Geminid meteor shower, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said. Scientists point out that the bright moonlight will decrease the visibility of the already faint meteors by up to five- to tenfold. However, each stargazer can still expect to see at least a dozen Geminids per hour when it peaks.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Noah Petro, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, explains how to get the best view of the supermoon. The scientist pointed out, “Just find a dark area clear of trees, anytime after dark is good and once the moon is up. There is no prime time when people have to do it, but the moon has to have risen for people to see it!”
Meanwhile, NASA makes it clear that the supermoon is not a low-hanging moon. In a statement, the agency states, “Low-hanging moons, on the other hand, can create what’s called a ‘moon illusion.’ When the moon is near the horizon it can look unnaturally large when viewed through trees, buildings, or other foreground objects. The effect is an optical illusion, but that fact doesn’t take away from the experience.”