This Monday stargazers will get to experience a rare, extra bright supermoon.
Want to make sure to spy it? According to NASA, the best time to see it is early Monday morning before sunrise, as the moon is closest to Earth at 6:22 am, EST.
But Sunday night and Monday night are also really good times to see Earth's natural satellite.
“I’ve been telling people to go out at night on either Sunday or Monday night to see the supermoon,” Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, said in a statement. “The difference in distance from one night to the next will be very subtle, so if it’s cloudy on Sunday, go out on Monday. Any time after sunset should be fine."
The last time the full moon was this close to Earth was 1948, NASA says.
The moon only appears full from Earth when our planet is between the sun and the moon. But since the moon’s orbit has an elliptical shape, sometimes it is closer to Earth than other times. Astronomers call the closest-to-the-Earth moment the perigee. What makes November 14 special is that the moon “becomes full within about two hours of perigee—arguably making it an extra-super moon,” NASA explained. In short: a so-called supermoon occurs when a full moon happens as the moon is also closest to Earth.
NASA says that Earth can be bathed in 30 percent more moonlight during a supermoon.
This year actually has three supermoons. Besides November’s, there was one on October 16 and will be another on December 14, although neither are as close as this month’s.
The November 14 supermoon is not only the closest full moon of the century so far, it won’t be matched until 2034. So if you miss this one, mark your calendar for November 25 of that year.