See the largest moon appearance since 1948 this month
DENVER — There is a rare event coming to our sky this month. The full moon on Nov. 14 will appear larger than it has since 1948.
There are a three things at play to make this spectacular sight.
First, we need a full moon. Second, that full moon needs to occur when the it is in its closest position to Earth. And third, Earth needs to be in its closest position to the sun.
The moon doesn’t orbit Earth in a perfect circle; it’s a bit egg-shaped.
So, as the moon circles the planet, it comes closer and farther. Plus, the Earth’s orbit is a bit egg-shaped about the sun too. So, when these three things occur together we have a special, rare sight.
Whenever the moon is at its closest distance to Earth and there is a full moon, it has been popularized with the term, “supermoon.”
We have these somewhat often. However, to have the “supermoon” coincide with Earth being closest to the sun is not common. (I use supermoon in quotes because the term isn’t a scientific one. It was coined by an astrologer, not astronomer, a few decades ago.)
According to the lunar calendar, the last time Earth and the moon were this close was Jan. 26, 1948. The next time will be Nov. 25, 2034.
This full moon will appear more than 15 percent larger on Nov. 14. It’ll be impressive looking on Nov. 13, too, assuming the sky is clear to see it either night.