Supermoon to illuminate the night sky

The biggest and brightest moon in almost 70 years is set to fill the night sky.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 12th November 2016, 4:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:50 pm
Supermoon set to rise
Supermoon set to rise

Monday’s “supermoon” will appear 30 per cent brighter and 14 per cent bigger than normal moons.

A supermoon occurs when the Earth, sun and moon align to the moon’s orbit of Earth, with the moon on the opposite side of the Earth to the sun.

Astrologer Richard Nolle, who coined the term “supermoon” in 1979, defined the term as “a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.”

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Monday’s supermoon will be the second of three expected this year. The first occurred on October 16 and there will be another on December 14.

But while supermoons are fairly common, few will be as spectacular as this one, which is expected to be the biggest since January 1948.

Astronomers say we won’t be treated to such a spectacular moon until November 2034.

Paul Thomsett, chairman of the South East Kent Astronomical Society said: “As long as the skies are clear and you have a good view to the south you will have no trouble seeing our nearest celestial neighbour blazing in the night sky.

“Weather permitting [it] will be visible without the need for a telescope.”

However, if you’re planning on trying to get a good photo or want to see the supermoon at it’s finest, places with the least light pollution are the best viewing point. The moon will become full at 13:52 GMT on Monday, November 14, so the best time to view the supermoon in the UK will be later on that night.