If you noticed the moon seemed to be shining a little brighter the last few nights, you weren’t imagining it.
At 6:22 a.m. this morning, the moon was at its closest point to Earth since 1948, a phenomenon that won’t be repeated for almost two decades. This one is special for another reason — it is the only full moon close approach this year.
The moon’s orbit around the Earth isn’t perfectly circular, and when it makes its closest path to us, it appears up to 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter, according to the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency.
While the approach peaked early this morning, you still got a chance to see the “supermoon” Monday night as it rises in the sky again. If you weren’t up early this morning, Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission says not to worry.
“The difference in distance from one night to the next will be very subtle, so if it’s cloudy on Sunday, go out on Monday. Any time after sunset should be fine,” said Petro. in a NASA release.
This is the second of three supermoons in a row, so if the clouds don’t co-operate tonight, there is another chance next month, with the last supermoon of 2016 on Dec. 14.