Manila, Philippines (November 14, 2015) – Monday evening, the Moon will be at its closest point to Earth, making it appear closer and larger in the night sky, a phenomenon usually called as a “supermoon.”

The term was coined by Richard Nolle back in 1979. It is technically called the “perigee full moon,” an astronomical phenomenon that occurs when a full moon coincides with the moon being the closest to the earth on its orbit.

Moon image captured on November 13, 2016, 6:45 pm at San Fernando City, La Union, one day before “supermoon” phenomenon. Photo courtesy of Toto Fabros.

The word “perigee” comes from the Greek words peri, which means “near” and gee, which means “earth.”

According to state weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the Moon will reach perigee, the Moon’s closest point as it orbits Earth, on November 14,2016 at 07:21 PM (PST) almost 2 hours 31 minutes before going Full Moon at 09:52 PM (PST).

At 7:21 PM, the Moon will be at a very close distance from Earth with 356,600 km. The moon’s average distance from the earth is 384,400 km.

“This year’s supermoon is one of the closest and biggest in 68 years and it won’t happen again until 2034,” PAGASA said in its advisory.

This will be the moon’s closest perigee since January 26, 1948 and expected to happen again on November 26, 2034.

However, this won’t be the only perigee moons this 2016. One happened last October 17, and another one will occur on December 13, but these won’t be as close as today’s event.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a supermoon can appear as much as 14 percent larger in the sky and 30 percent brighter to the people’s eyes than at minimum size and brightness.

According to PAGASA, the gravitational pull makes high tides higher and low tides lower during the supermoon.

Basic Moon Facts

The Moon is Earth’s only permanent natural satellite. The Moon’s gravitational influence produces the ocean tides, body tides, and the slight lengthening of the day.

According to astronomers, the Moon shines because its surface reflects light from the sun. While it seems to shine very brightly, the moon reflects only between 3 and 12 percent of the sunlight that hits it.

The Apollo 11 was the first spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon.

Best View

Astronomy experts said the best way to see this astronomical phenomena is in an area with little pollution and with little to no artificial light.

The 30 percent difference in brightness can easily be masked by surrounding clouds or the competing glare of urban lights. The view of the moon will also depend on weather conditions. [techthetruth]

Suggested articles: