Sunday’s super-moon – the only one this year
The one and only super-moon appearance of 2017 appeared this evening, Sunday, 3 December.
A super-moon happens when a full moon coincides with the moon being at its closest to the Earth during orbit, the perigee, which means it appeared roughly 30% larger and brighter than the smallest full moon.
Although this is the only one this year, there will be a new super-moon on the first day of 2018.
The Moon rose at 17:35 on Sunday and appeared to be larger than usual, not only because of the occurrence of the super-Moon but because being close to the horizon it was more magnified – an optical illusion.
If you can not see it tonight, you’ll still be able to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon on Monday December 4th in the evening, as the moon will still look much bigger than usual.
The moon officially reaches the perigee – the point of its closest orbit – at 8:45 am Monday, when it will be 357,492 kilometres from Earth. Occasions when the perigee and full moon coincide have become known as super-moons.
Last year the Moon made its closest approach to Earth since 1948 – it won’t be that close again until 25 November 2034.