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Supermoon trilogy

Ben Domensino, Tuesday December 5, 2017 - 17:01 AEDT

You may have noticed that the moon is a bit bigger and brighter than it usually is at the moment.

Monday night's full moon in Australia marked the start of a supermoon trilogy that will end in a rare spectacle on the final night of January.

As the moon orbits our planet, it actually moves closer to and further away from Earth on what is called an elliptical orbit. If a full moon occurs when the moon is near its closest point to Earth, it's known as a supermoon.

Supermoons appears around to 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than a full moon that occurs at the furthest point away from Earth. Supermoons also look their biggest when they are close to the horizon.

If you missed last night's supermoon, don't worry. This was the first in a super moon trilogy, with the next two set to occur in January.

The second in the series will take place during the day on 2nd January and will best be viewed on one of the surrounding nights.

The third and final supermoon will be the most spectacular of the three. On the night of January 31st 2018, a supermoon will occur at the same time as a total lunar eclipse, which will be visible in its entirety across Australia.

As total lunar eclipses are called blood moons and the second supermoon in a calendar month is known as a blue moon, this event event is essentially a super blue blood moon. Make sure you don't miss this one.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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