A supermoon can only happen if it’s a full moon and if the moon is closer to Earth than usual. Check out these stargazingly great pictures!.
This year’s supermoon appeared bold and bright in the sky overnight. Pictures show the moon hanging over some of the world’s most famous places and sights, looking almost worryingly close to the Earth.
December’s full moon, which is also known for obvious reasons as the Cold Moon, appears bigger and brighter in the sky as it sits closer than average to Earth. It was the best supermoon of 2017; although our closest neighbour had passed by just as near earlier this year, the moon wasn’t full and so it couldn’t properly be seen.
Tom Kerss, an astronomer at Royal Observatory Greenwich, said it would reach its highest point above the horizon at about midnight last night. At 3.47pm yesterday – the exact moment of full moon – it was 222,761 miles from Earth, closer than the average distance of 238,900 miles.
But the moon will still be big and full in the coming days, if the pictures are making you regret having missed it, or you want to relive the sight.
Supermoons happen because the moon’s orbit around the Earth isn’t a perfect circle. That means it sometimes swings closer to the Earth than usual – and if that happens to coincide with a full moon, it can produce a huge, bright, white, glowing show.