Photo Credit: Christian Begeman - Garretson
This upcoming Monday, November 14, we will see what is know as a “supermoon.” Supermoons are not all that uncommon, and this will actually be the second month of three in a row that we experience a supermoon. The thing that makes this supermoon special this time around is that the moon will be the closest to Earth that it has been since January of 1948 and won’t come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034, which makes it an ultra supermoon or as some are calling it, a super-duper-moon.
This is all created because of the moon’s orbit. The moon has an elliptical orbit which has two sides to it, and because the Earth is not directly in the center of the orbit, one side (perigee) is closer by nearly 30,000 miles than the other side (apogee). NASA explains that “The word syzygy, in addition to being useful in word games, is the scientific name for when the Earth, sun, and moon line up as the moon orbits Earth. When perigee-syzygy of the Earth-moon-sun system occurs and the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun, we get a perigee moon or more commonly, a supermoon!”
Photo Credit - Pinterest
Perigee full moons are much bigger and brighter than their counter part, apogee full moons. So much so that they can be up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter.
For a great explanation check out this video that NASA put together to describe this year’s supermoon. VIDEO HERE
As always, if you want to go out and see the supermoon, make sure you get to a dark area, away from city lights, if possible. This will allow for a great view of the moon, weather pending, and give you a better chance to snap picture. While it's expected to reach the peak of its full phase on Monday morning, November 14 at 7:52am CST, it will be tough to see for us because sunrise on November 14th in Sioux Falls is 7:20am. Either way, the moon should be close to full moon to get photos either the nights of November 13 or the 14.
The great news at this point is that Mother Nature looks like she will cooperate with us. Both Sunday night and Monday night are looking very nice. While we will be a tad chilly with lows into the mid to upper 20s and low 30s across the area, skies will be mainly clear and that will give us a great view of the moon. So grab that winter jacket, a blanket, and a nice thermos full of hot chocolate and enjoy!