What is a Supermoon History Fast Facts Dates You Need to Know much more info. Ever looked up at the night sky to see a full moon so close you could almost touch it? Well done, you’ve spotted a supermoon. The impressive sight happens when a full moon is closest to Earth. It orbits our planet in an oval shape so sometimes it comes closer to us than at other times. To us Earth-lings, the moon appears 30 per cent brighter and 14 per cent bigger.
By the way, supermoon is not an astrological term. It’s scientific name is perigee-syzygy, but supermoon is more catchy, and is used by the media to describe our celestial neighbour when it gets up close.
A supermoon takes place when the moon, in its full phase, is at the closest point to Earth in the 27-day lunar orbit. The Nov. 14 supermoon will appear about 15 percent larger than average and is the closest full moon in 68 years.
On November 14, 2016, the moon will be closer to Earth than it’s been since January 26, 1948. It’ll be a full moon and a supermoon. The moon won’t come this close again until November 25, 2034. That makes upcoming full moon the closest and largest supermoon in a period of 86 years! Here are five things you need to know.
Looking further into the future, the perigee full moon will come closer than 356,500 kilometers for the first time in the 21st century (2001-2100) on November 25, 2034 (356,446 km). The closest full moon of the 21st century will fall on December 6, 2052 (356,425 km).
For the moon to come closer than 356,400 kilometers (221,457 miles) is quite a feat. In fact, this won’t happen at all in the 21st century (2001-2100) or the 22nd century (2101-2200). The last time the full moon perigee swung this close to Earth was on January 14, 1930 (356,397 km), and the next time won’t be till January 1, 2257 (356,371 km).
Each full moon of the year is given a name – although they vary according to the source. October’s full moon is referred to as the Hunter’s moon because it appears very soon after sunset, and traditionally generated more light for farmers working in the fields and hunters to spot wildlife.
There’s lots of other moons too
Full moon: We all know what these are. They come around every month and light up the night at night.
Harvest moon: The full moon closest to the autumn equinox.
Black moon: Most experts agree that this refers to the second new moon in a calendar month. The last black moon was at the start of October 2016 and the next one is expected in 2019.
Blue moon: A phenomenon that occurs when there is a second full moon in one calendar month. Joe Rao from space.com explains: “A second full moon in a single calendar month is sometimes called a blue moon. A black moon is supposedly the flip side of a blue moon; the second new moon in a single calendar month.”
The infrequent nature of this lunar event led to the phrase “once in a blue moon” to signify a rare occurrence. It does not actually mean the moon will be blue.
Blood moon: Also known as a supermoon lunar eclipse. It’s when the shadow of Earth casts a reddish glow on the moon, the result of a rare combination of an eclipse with the closest full moon of the year. There was one in September 2015, and before that in 1982 but the next one won’t be until 2033.
Strawberry moon: A rare event when there’s a full moon on the same day as the summer solstice. It happened in June 2016 for the first time since 1967 when 17 hours of sunlight gave way to a bright moonlit sky.
Despite the name, the moon does appear pink or red. The romantic label was coined by the Algonquin tribes of North America who believed June’s full moon signalled the beginning of the strawberry picking season.