Because the moon travels along an elliptical path, it sometimes approaches Earth, which makes it appear larger in the night sky. This is known as Supermoon and Sunday is your chance to see it up close and personal. According to NASA, when the moon is in this position, it can be up to 14% closer to us. The supermoon can also cause stronger tides and influence the Earth's climate.

Tonight's supermoon, which should be clearly visible after an initial cloudiness, will be the first of three in a span of two months.

According to, the best optics for supermodels occurs at the moonrise. Tonight the moon sets to rise at 4:59 p.m., however, at the time of visualization may not be optimal because several weather forecasters predict cloudy skies. Later in the night, however, they are predicting that the heavens will clear and have a perfect view.

If you miss the astrological event tonight, do not despair, another is scheduled for January 1 and a third for January 31. 19659008] The January 31st supermoon promises to be very special, said Noah Petro, a researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, as it will also be a partial lunar eclipse in the Northeast.

"The lunar eclipse of January 31 will be visible during dusk, and people in the eastern United States, where the eclipse will be partial, will have to get up in the morning to see it," Petro said.

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Also on January 31, the full moon will be the second within same month, making it a blue moon, according to Blue moons only occur every 2.5 years, hence the term once in a blue moon.

A super moon occurs when the full moon is at the closest point of its orbit to Earth, which is also called perigee, according to

That makes the moon look closer and brighter – up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than the full moon at its furthest point from the earth, called

On the other hand, says that the supermoon is not an official astronomical term. It was coined for the first time by an astrologer, Richard Nolle, in 1979.

He defined it as a new or full moon that occurs when the moon is at or near (within 90% of) its closest focus to Earth in its orbit. "It is not clear why he chose the 90% cut in his definition, the site notes.

That means there are no official rules about how close or far the moon must be to qualify as a supermoon or micro moon ( when the earth is at its farthest distance.) Different outlets use different definitions.

The lunar orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle, but elliptical, with one side closer to the Earth than the other.

As a result of the elliptical orbit of the moon, the distance between the moon and the Earth varies throughout the month and year, on average, the distance is approximately 382,900 kilometers (238,000 miles).


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