A ‘Supermoon’ is Coming

You may have heard us mention that we have a Supermoon coming up on Monday.  What’s a Supermoon and what does it mean for you?  Hopefully, this blog will help to answer those questions.

We have the Full Cold Moon coming up this Sunday.  It will be full at 10:47 a.m.  In the wee hours of Monday morning, the moon will make its closest approach to Earth which is known as its perigee.  The average distance from the Earth to the moon is about 238,000 miles.  This Monday morning, the trip will be about 15,500 miles shorter.  When a full moon coincides with its perigee to Earth, we refer to it as a Supermoon.

As you see pictured above, the Supermoon isn’t really all that different from a regulation full moon.  Is it noticeable – sure, but it’s not as big or as bright as you think it might be given that it’s about 15,500 miles closer.  That said, when you compare it to a full moon at apogee, known as a Micromoon, it’s considerably different.  A Supermoon is about 30% brighter than a Micromoon!  Now we’re talking!

Some other Supermoon fun facts:

  • this Supermoon is the first and only one of 2017
  • it will be the first of three Supermoons in a row
  • there will be two Supermoons in January 2018
  • the second full moon in January 2018 earns the distinction of a Blue Moon***

*** A Blue Moon is the second full moon of any month.  That’s where the expression “once in a blue moon” comes from because having two full moons in any month is a rare occurrence.

Now you have all sorts of lunar facts to share with your friends!

Stormtracker 16 Meteorologist John Hickey


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