This November we will have a unique event: the biggest and brightest supermoon in seven decades. On November 14 we will be able to admire a lunar close-up as a result of the current moon position in its elliptical orbit around the Earth, and the position of the last and the sun.
2016 is a year for supermoon. We’ve already seen a supermoon on October 16 and we will see the last one on December 14. However, the second supermoon of 2016, will take place within few days and it will be the biggest one, not only among those of 2016 but the most incredible supermoon since 1948. November 14 supermoon will reach the closest point in its egg-shaped orbit around the earth. So it will definitely be a huge opportunity for those who love the universe and the marvels of the sky.
An “out of this world” supermoon
A “supermoon” is a colloquial term used when there is a new or full moon that reaches a particular point of its orbit around the earth that is close to the planet. Due to the last, it appears to be about 10% bigger and brighter. When the moon is at its closest approach to the Earth we call it “perigee” (close-to-earth). However, the farthest point of the moon’s orbit is called “apogee” (far-from-earth)
Usually there are about four supermoons a year; however, the moon we will have on November 14 is quite special, not only because it reaches its perigee point, but because we will also have the ‘syzygy’ phenomenon. The syzygy phenomenon refers to the moment when the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon are lined up in the sky meaning that the sun will be on the exact opposite side of the Earth from the Moon.
Thanks to the combination of the syzygy with the closest perigee in seven decades, we will have a supermoon that will be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the regular full moons! When the moon is at its perigee point, it is approximately 30.000 miles close to the planet earth.
“The important thing for astronomers is that the perigee distance is less than 223,690 miles (360,000 km). When the moon gets this close, its most important effect on the Earth — the ocean tides — gets stronger” said Geoff Gaherty from Space.com
November 2016: an exciting month for the astronomers
Besides the upcoming supermoon, on Halloween we were able to see the last apogee, which is the farthest from earth that the moon can get during its elliptical orbit. But this month the sky will be filled with incredible combinations of events, from planets to meteor showers.
That is why space scientist, Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, has created and offered a guide describing all the events for the nights of November for the BBC Earth Magazine. That way, we will know exactly what we are admiring as we gaze into the sky, or we could just be informed when a specific event is set to happen.
For example, this November just after sunset we might be able to see a show of planets, including Jupiter in the west and Venus for those early morning people who take a look east. On November 5 and 6, Mars will also be visible. As well, Saturn and mercury will meet on Friday 23rd.
We will have to wait until 2034 to gaze a supermoon like this again!
November 14 supermoon will not only be the brightest and biggest since 1948, but as well, it is expected to last two hours, so we will definitely have enough time to admire this magnificent event. It will be occurring in the morning hours before sunrise in Western North America and the Pacific Islands. People from Australia will expect to see it on November 15.
According to NASA we usually have about four to six months each year; however, this “undeniable beautiful” supermoon –as it was called by NASA – will be happening again in about 18 years, so better not miss this particular moon.
“The full moon of November 14 is not only the closest full moon of 2016 but also the closest full moon to date in the 21st century. The full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034,” published NASA.
As well, Nasa encouraged people around the world to take some minutes to gaze this event.
2016 has been a great year for supermoon gathering six full or new moons set at perigee. We had new moons at perigee in March, April, and May. Nonetheless, there were not as bright and breathtaking as the full moon at the perigee of October or as the ones of November and December are expected to be. The unique supermoon of November is known to as the beaver moon since hunters used it to set traps to the furry animals, to use their fur for winter clothing.
Source: Daily Mail Online