Supermoon December 2017: When, Where & How to See It
March 9, 2018
The “Full Cold Moon” will rise on December 3rd, and will be marked as the only “Supermoon” of 2017.
In A Nutshell
- On Sunday, December 3rd, the moon will become totally full at 10:46 a.m. EST (1546 GMT).
- On December 4th, it will reach maximum perigee at 3:45 a.m. EST (0845 GMT)
- At this point, the moon will be at a distance of 222,135 miles (357,492 kilometers) away from Earth.
What Is A Supermoon
The point at which the Moon is closest to Earth in its orbit is called a Perigee. If at the time of perigee the moon is also a full moon, then Supermoon happens. The moon can appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual when such a coincidence happens.
The moon’s average distance is 238,000 miles (382,900 km) from Earth. But since its orbit isn’t perfectly circular, therefore the distance varies a small amount. At its farthest distance from Earth (called the Apogee), it will be 252,651 miles (406,603 km) away. That’s a difference of 30,516 miles (48,110 km)!
This year – i.e. 2017 – the moon’s apogee will be on December 19th. While this year’s perigee happened on May 25th. On that day the moon was 221,958 miles (357,208 km) away from Earth.
Since there was no full moon on May 25th, therefore it didn’t qualify as a supermoon.
When to see the Supermoon
The full moon will rise the evening of December 3rd. at 5:00 p.m, In New York City. While the Moonset will be the morning of Dec. 4 at 7:50 a.m.
The sun will set at 4:30 p.m. on December 3rd, so the full moon and the sun will not be visible at the same time in New York.
For those below the equator, the Sun and Moon will be visible in the sky at once. In Wellington, New Zealand, the full moon will occur at 4:46 a.m. local time on the morning of December 4th. The moon will then set at 6:10 a.m., half an hour after the sun rises at 5:41 a.m.
The full moon of December 2017 will be visible towards the constellation of Taurus. Though the moon is officially full on December 3rd, it will still appear full to the casual observer the night before and after.
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