Udupi: Supermoon to brighten up night sky on December 2


Since the supermoon on Jan. 31 will be the second full moon in January, it's dubbed a Blue Moon, and will occur during a total lunar eclipse.

CT residents will have their eyes peeled to the sky Sunday night as the "supermoon" makes its only appearance in 2017.

By some measures, Sunday night's full moon is the only supermoon of 2017.

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According to a press release issued by Poornaprajna Amateur Astronomers' Club Co-ordinator Dr A P Bhat, supermoons happen when a full moon approximately coincides with a moon's perigee or a point in its elliptical orbit at which it is closest to earth. At its closest, it looks 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than it does at its farthest. But the supermoon that took place exactly a month before that was much more notable - it was the closest supermoon to Earth since January 1948.

Supermoon is the term given to the moon when it's two cycles around the earth match up.

"The supermoon is a 16-inch pizza compared with a 15-inch pizza", he says.

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Fortunately, Tyson's word isn't gospel, whether we're talking about supermoons, dwarf planets or adjectives vs. nouns.

If you miss the first viewing, another good time to sneak a peek is when the supermoon reaches its peak at 4 a.m. on December 4. After that, there will be supermoons on January 2 and January 31, 2018.

This Sunday's supermoon will appear a little boring in comparison, only appearing seven percent larger and 16 percent brighter. That'll be a super moon, even by Neil deGrasse Tyson's standards.

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