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In pics: 'Supermoon' brightens up skies; know about the celestial event

The moon is expected to appear around 7% larger and 15% brighter on Sunday

IANS  |  London 

Supermoon
A supermoon rises in front of a replica of the Statue of Liberty sitting atop the Liberty Building in downtown Buffalo, N.Y. Photo: Reuters

Stargazers are in for a treat on Sunday as they could catch a glimpse of the so-called "supermoon" when the Moon appears bigger and brighter in the sky as it moves closer to Earth.

It will appear about 7 per cent larger and 15 per cent brighter, although the difference is barely noticeable to the human eye, the BBC reported.

December's full moon is traditionally known as the "cold moon".

The full moon on Sunday night marks the first and only of 2017.

Supermoon Sunday, Supermoon, Supermoon in 2017
The moon rises behind the Uppatasanti Pagoda seen from Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on Sunday. (Photo: PTI)

According to Nasa, a is a Moon that is full when it is also at or near its closest point in its orbit around Earth.

Since the Moon's orbit is elliptical, one side (apogee) is about 50,000 km farther from Earth than the other (perigee).

But within this orbit, further variations can be caused by the Earth's movements around the Sun.

These mean that the perigee - the closest approach - and full moon are not always in sync.

Supermoon, cold moon, moon
The moon rises over the CN Tower and skyline in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo: PTI)
But the occasions when the perigee and full moon coincide have become known as supermoons.

Nasa has said that Sunday's is first in a series of three supermoons. The next two will appear on January 1 and 31, 2018.

In 2016, the Moon made its closest approach to Earth since 1948. It won't be that close again until November 25, 2034.






First Published: Mon, December 04 2017. 10:50 IST
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