Shop at Amazon US


If you like the website and want to contribute to the running costs then please do so below. All contributions are most welcome.

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online.

This month's full Moon takes place on November 14th and it will be a so called "Supermoon", a full Moon occurring at or near perigee (closest point to Earth). As a result, the Moon appears larger and brighter in the sky than average. This is also the closest Supermoon since January 26, 1948.

The reason why such an event is possible is because the Moon's orbit around the Earth is not circular and therefore the bodies are constantly varying in separation. The distance between the Moon and the Earth at perigee can be as small as 356,400 km (221,460 miles) and at apogee as far away as 406,700 km (252,710 miles). This corresponds to a maximum and minimum apparent size of the Moon of 33.5 and 29.4 arc minutes respectively.

Full Moon at Perigee and Apogee (credit:- freestarcharts)

The Moon reaches perigee at 11:27 UT on November 14th when it's 356,512 km (221,526 miles) from Earth. Just over 2 hours later full Moon occurs with the Moon in Taurus and with an apparent diameter of 33.5 arc minutes. In addition, the Moon will also appear larger and bright on November 13th and 15th. It rises in the east around sunset, reaches its highest point around midnight, before setting in the west at or near sunset.

A good time to look for the Moon is around sunset when the well observed "Moon illusion" is best seen. To the eye the Moon appears "larger" in size when it hovers just above the horizon, compared to when it's much higher in the sky. It's a curious illusion, but that's all it is. If you were to take a photograph of the Moon low down and then compared it to another photo of the Moon higher in the sky, the apparent size would be the same.