Sunday's supermoon will be biggest and brightest full moon this year

Steve Phelps
December 1, 2017

We won't actually see the moon when it's at its "fullest" because it will be below the horizon.

Mr Kerss explained: "During moonrise and moonset, you might think the moon looks unusually large, but this is an illusion created in the mind when it appears close to the horizon".

The previous supermoon was the closest to Earth since 1948, and we won't see another like that until 2034. The supermoon will rise on Sunday, 3 December and will become full at 3:47pm GMT - remaining bright and full throughout the night.

The full supermoon won't technically hit the U.S. until Monday morning (12:45am PT, 3:45am ET), but most of the best moon photo ops happen around moonrise and moonset - that will be around 5pm ET on Saturday and 7:50am ET on Sunday. But if that's too late for you to stay up, don't worry, the moon will still appear larger than normal when it's closer to the Earth's horizon during sunset on December 3 and sunrise on December 4.

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The moon's average distance from the Earth is approximately 238,000 miles. The term was originally also used to referred to new moons at perigee, but since new moons are not visible from Earth, they're rarely called supermoons.

The supermoon may appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual. In fact, the change in the moon's apparent size throughout its orbit is imperceptible to the unaided eye. According to University of Arizona professor Gurtina Besla, there's also a peak viewing time at 3:45 a.m. ET on Monday, Dec. 4. If the moon is a bit bigger and brighter, even better. If you choose to watch it live, check what local time you should tune in here. The moon will appear about 7 percent bigger and 16 percent brighter than average. Then adjust the exposure slider that appears next to your finger to get the right balance of light for your shot.

For everyone waiting to catch a glimpse of the last supermoon of 2017, taking pictures to preserve the moment can be easy.

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