December supermoon dazzles in morning sky

Violet Powell
December 6, 2017

LONDON-Breathtaking photographs captured in brightened night skies across the world showed the first of three consecutive supermoons to occur this winter - and the only one this year.

The moon was at its closest to Earth during its elliptical orbit, and appeared 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than normal.

The supermoon on the 31st will also feature a total lunar eclipse visible in western North America.

The supermoon, as it's called, will appear in the night sky on the evening of December 3rd.

NASA has called the weekend's supermoon the first in a supermoon trilogy over the next two months, with the second sighting and third sighting on January 1 and January 31 respectively.

A supermoon rises in front of a replica of the Statue of Liberty sitting atop the Liberty Building in downtown Buffalo

Part of it depends on where you're viewing the supermoon.

An interesting pattern appears when you map out the motion of the moon relative to the Earth (apogee/perigee) and relative to the Sun (lunation or phases like full, new, etc.). The next two will occur on January 1 and January 31, 2018. This non-circular orbit means that the moon ends up coming a bit closer to Earth at certain times of the year.

While the moon is undoubtedly both bigger and brighter than usual, our eyes tend to trick us into seeing the moon as larger than it truly is.

The Supermoon, or Full Cold Moon, made its first and last appearance of 2017 on Sunday night.

The second will occur on January 31. The second full moon to occur in a calendar month is known as a blue moon.

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