The Only Supermoon Visible with the Naked Eye

2011's supermoon over Germany

Sunday’s supermoon that illuminates the night sky is the only one in 2017 that is visible. Moreover, according to a program executive with NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft system, Gordon Johnson, to the naked eye, the moon appears 7% larger and 16% brighter. People should be able to see the supermoon from sunset until sunrise, on Monday. However, it will be the largest after 12:45 a. m. ET.

Still, it’s worth noting that this lunar event is not as important as some of the other previous such events like the November 2016 supermoon or the total solar eclipse that took place in August. But this particular event might be more appealing to the people because they are able to witness it without having to use eye protection or glasses. According to NASA, it was last year’s supermoon that represented the closest the moon has gotten to our planet’s orbit since 1948. That won’t happen again until 2034.

This weekend’s fascinating supermoon

People should know that there is quite a simple scientific explanation as to why the moon is so close to Earth. It’s because the orbit of the moon is not actually a perfect circle. There are a lot of thing and forces which are affecting its orbit. Among those are our planet’s gravity, the Sun’s gravity and even other planets’ gravity. So, all those gravitational forces are pushing and pulling on the moon, therefore altering its orbit.

However, it seems like no matter what the moon does, some people are not going to be impressed. One of them is famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Just before the appearance of the supermoon, he took to Twitter and shared his thoughts on this phenomenon. He doesn’t think that this should be called a “supermoon” because it’s not special at all.

Two other supermoons (that will probably not impress Tyson either) are scheduled to occur next year, on January 2nd and on January 31st.

Image source: wikimedia

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