Following the celestial supermoon events in November and December last year, another such lunar event is scheduled to take place on December 3 and this is going to be the first and only observable supermoon of 2017.
The scientific term of supermoon is perigee syzygy. According to Gurtina Besla, a professor at the Arizona University, the phrase refers to two things related to the moon's phase and location."Perigee refers to the moon being at its closest distance to the Earth, and syzygy refers to the alignment of multiple bodies — the moon, Earth and sun need to be aligned for us to see a full moon. So it translates to the closest separation between the moon and Earth when the Earth, moon and sun are aligned," said Besla to NPR.
Since during the event, the moon comes closer to our home planet, it can appear up to 14% larger than a usual fool moon. As it was reported earlier, during the supermoon of November 2016, our natural satellite had come the closest to Earth since 1948 and it will not come that close again until 2034.
A supermoon can be observed with the naked eye without the help of telescopes or other such equipment. The peak time to watch this year's supermoon is would be 3:45 AM ET on December 4, said Besla. Before that the moon would appear bigger than usual during the sunset on December 3.
The Virtual Telescope Project has already announced that it will broadcast a video feed of the event.
"Don't make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself with no reference to anything. I've certainly done it myself, but everyone will get that shot. Instead, think of how to make the image creative—that means tying it into some land-based object. It can be a local landmark or anything to give your photo a sense of place," suggested NASA staff photographer Bill Ingalls.
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As cited by the National Geographic, this would be the fourth supermoon of this year; however, others before this one were not visible to naked eye.