“For most people, we often marvel at the beauty of a sunrise or the magnificence of a full moon, but it is impossible to fathom the magnitude of the universe that surrounds us.” -Richard H. Baker
This coming Monday, November 14th, 2016, a full Moon will occur extremely close — within 90 minutes — of a very, very close lunar perigee. The Moon will come within 356,509 km of Earth while 99.9% full, making this the most “super” Supermoon Earth has seen in 68 years. No matter where you are on Earth, if you have clear skies, it’s worth a look, particularly right before dawn, where it’s at its closest and brightest.
Look for a setting full Moon just before sunrise on November 14, 2016, to see it at its fullest and brightest. (Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.)
But what are the facts about a Supermoon, and what are the fictions? How does it impact the tides? How much closer does this Supermoon come than other close, bright full moons? Will there be an eclipse with it? Why is it called the Beaver Moon? And does it have anything to do with a woman’s menstrual cycle?
The Moon’s orbit isn’t a perfect circle, but an ellipse. When perigee coincides (or nearly coincides) with fullness, we achieve a Supermoon. Image credit: Brian Koberlein.