This weekend's Cold Moon will be 2017's only Supermoon

Supermoon 2016

It's been a year since the visible supermoon last graced our skies, when the full moon was closest to the Earth.

Supermoon is not an official astronomical term.

We have a full moon about every 28 days, but the average for a supermoon is about every 14th full moon. The technical term for it is Perigee-Syzygy of the Earth Moon system, as the point on the moon's orbit closest to the Earth is called perigee. "There are lots of great photos of people appearing to be holding the moon in their hand and that kind of thing". If you choose to watch it live, check what local time you should tune in here.

There have been other times this year that the moon's been closer to us than it will be this weekend, but it didn't come at the same time as a full moon, so it didn't win the Supermoon label. This is known as the moon illusion and the moon hasn't grown; it's a trick your eyes are playing on you.

At this time, the moon also appears both bigger and brighter than it actually is.




It's often hard to differentiate a supermoon and a regular full moon.

"If you stretch out your arm at full length, and stretch out your thumb, and compare the size of the full moon in the sky to the size of your thumb, you'll notice the width of the full moon compared to the size of your thumb; you can put four full moons across the width of your thumb", Nichols said. You'll want to soak in as much of the supermoon as possible, and you'll do yourself a favor by using this opportunity to gaze at incredibly fine details on the lunar surface. "Don't make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself with no reference to anything", say Ingalls.

If you're using a DSLR, NASA's senior photographer Bill Ingalls recommends that you use the daylight white balance to adjust for the sunlight being reflected off the moon. "Then slide your finger up or down to darken or lighten the exposure".

"You can do the experiment with your outstretched thumb".

If you're taking pictures, post share them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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