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"Supermoon": Brightest Spectacle in 70 Years Due on Monday
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:48 AM
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Default "Supermoon": Brightest Spectacle in 70 Years Due on Monday






"Supermoon": Brightest Spectacle in 70 Years Due on Monday




A blood-red 'supermoon' seen over High Wycombe in 2014

Friday 11 November 2016

It will appear to be 30% brighter and 14% bigger than usual as it orbits closer to the planet.


The biggest and brightest "supermoon" for almost 70 years will shine over the Earth on Monday.

Astronomers say that is because the moon will be so close to Earth on 14 November - just 221,525 miles - and it will appear to be up to 30% brighter and 14% bigger than average.

The time to see it at its biggest and brightest in the UK will be around 4.45pm, when it begins to rise and is nearest to the horizon.

If you miss Monday's spectacular, it should still appear bigger than usual on Tuesday evening but will be a fraction smaller.



There is another "supermoon" on 14 December, but if you fail to see that you will have to wait until 25 November 2034, according to NASA.

Robin Scagell, vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, explained why the moon appears to change size and brightness.

He said: "The moon's distance from Earth varies because it has an elliptical rather than circular orbit, as do all planetary and satellite orbits.

"If the Earth and moon were the only objects in the universe and we were totally flexible and solid, every closest point (perigee) and every farthest point (apogee) would be identical for eternity.


Neil Armstrong was the first man to step on the moon

"But in the real universe, there are many more forces acting on the two bodies, notably the direction of the sun, so the perigee and apogee distances change slightly."

Of course, the weather could affect how clearly you will be able to see the moon on Monday - the bad news is weather forecasters are predicting most of the country will be covered in cloud.

Facts about the moon
:: The moon orbits the Earth every 27.5 days and the same side always faces us.

:: It is moving away from us at 3.8cm a year. In 50 million years it will take 47 days to orbit the Earth.

:: The moon is 2,159 miles in diameter - the fifth largest natural satellite in the solar system.

:: Just 24 people - all US astronauts - have seen the far side of the moon with their own eyes.

:: Only 12 people have walked on it (but not for 44 years).

:: You would weigh just 16.5% of your Earth weight on the moon because it has a much smaller mass

:: NASA plans to return to the moon with a human mission around 2019
SOURCE
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