Supermoon 2017: Here's how to watch it

Delia Watkins
December 3, 2017

It is what astronomers call a perigean full moon, or a full moon when it is at its closest point in orbit around Earth, according to NASA.

The moon will become totally full on Sunday, and will be visible in the New York City sky between Sunday night and Monday morning. The idea merely reflects the fact that the moon's apparent size varies depending on how close it gets in its elliptical orbit around Earth.

Tomorrow will mark the closest the moon will orbit to the earth all year round and will appear bigger and brighter than usual.

While scientists argue about the influence of the close passing of Earth's natural satellite for geophysical processes, the Moon is inexorably approaching and promises to be an interesting phenomenon for all the earthlings who are lucky enough to see this spectacle. Time your viewing for just after local sunset, National Geographic suggests, when the "moon illusion" will make the orb look especially large and vibrant.

Supermoon Sunday is at hand, and although some may scoff, the supermoon concept provides a good excuse to take a close look at a celestial sight we often take for granted.

Supermoon 2017: Here's how to watch it

The January 31 supermoon will also be the second full Moon of the month.

Fortunately, Tyson's word isn't gospel, whether we're talking about supermoons, dwarf planets or adjectives vs. nouns.

If you aren't able to observe this weekend's supermoon, don't worry: The new year kicks off with two supermoons straight from the gate. Before you dig out your telescope, however, here's what you need to know about the only supermoon of 2017 - and the best time to view it.

If you're unable to see the supermoon, you won't have to wait long for another opportunity. After that, there will be supermoons on January 2 and January 31, 2018. You also can catch the supermoon online at a free webcast from the Virtual Telescope Project starting at 16:00 UT on December 3. That'll be a super moon, even by Neil deGrasse Tyson's standards.

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