There will be a record ‘supermoon’ on Monday, when the moon will be the brightest and closest to Earth in almost 70 years.
The Irish Astronomical Association says it will be the best supermoon since 1948 and there will not be a closer one for another 18 years. A ‘supermoon’ is a full moon occurring very close to its perigee, the time when it is closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit. It then appears larger and brighter than usual – about 14% bigger, and 30% brighter.
It will be seen it at its best as it sets in the west just before sunrise at about 7am on Monday and as it rises in the east that evening just after sunset, at about 5.05pm.
The moon always appears bigger when rising or setting, because of the so-called ‘moon illusion’, so the supermoon effect will be enhanced by that effect just when it appears biggest to us.
“The diameter of the moon at those times will be 33′ 32″ (33 arcminutes and 33 arc seconds), or just over half a degree, as seen from Belfast,” a spokesperson said.
“The moon will rise slightly early the further east you are, and slightly later the further west you are, compared with Belfast, but the apparent size of the moon will be much the same.”
The experts’ advice for photographing the supermoon is to choose a location ideally with a landmark for comparison.
Last updated Sun 13 Nov 2016