How to watch the only visible "supermoon" of 2017 this weekend

Gwen Vasquez
December 1, 2017

As this point, it benefits from the "moon illusion", an optical trick in which it appears big when seen against the human-scaled environment.

If you miss the moon on the first day, don't fret, the moon will still appear large and bright for a few days after that, it just won't be a full a moon.

The moon won't actually change during this event, but it will be a lot closer to earth.

New York City: On December 3, the full moon will rise in the evening at 4:59 pm at local time.

The full moon will be the first and last supermoon of 2017 and it's expected to be spectacular.

Still, don't sleep on the supermoon expected Sunday: It's the only one we'll see for all of 2017.

December Full 'Cold Moon,' First and Only Supermoon of 2017, to Be Visible Sunday Night

Unlike the total solar eclipse, there are no risks of going blind if you stare directly into the moonlight, which is technically a reflection of the sun's light. (The point at which the moon is closest to Earth is known as the perigee.) Basically, what that means is it will look like the moon is particularly large and bright to viewers of the nightsky.

The moon will reach perigee - the moon's closest point to Earth for this month - at 3:45 a.m. ET Monday, when the moon is 222,135 miles from the Earth.

Most astronomers suggest watching the supermoon right after sunset and into moonrise, and minutes before the next sunrise as well.

It can be tough to snap a good shot of the moon, but equipment like a telephoto lens or an adaptor on a small telescope helps, Faherty said.

Also, look for the supermoon when it's near the horizon during moonrise/moonset. This is what makes the natural satellite appear bigger and brighter. This is also why both times are the best for watching the supermoon. The moon will appear about 7 percent bigger and 16 percent brighter than average.

To take a picture of the supermoon with a smartphone, tap on the moon on the screen and hold your finger in place to lock the camera's focus.

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