The Supermoon

December 14, 2016

The third supermoon of the year just happened today (December 14) so look out for it tonight! Or if you can’t see it through the LA smog, check Instagram photos from around the world or NASA’s website. If you were excited about the Geminid meteor shower, unfortunately you will be disappointed because the supermoon will block it out and make it much less spectacular to observe.


Above is the fuzzy picture I got of the supermoon event in November from outside my student apartment. The November supermoon was the closest the moon had come to Earth in the 21st century.  A supermoon, or a perigee moon (scientific term), is when the moon appears 14% bigger or up to 30% closer to Earth than usual. When does this happen? Well, the moon’s orbit around Earth is elliptical so the perigee side is 30,000 miles closer. Because of that, there is a time when the moon is closest to the Earth on the perigee side with the sun being on the opposite side of the Earth. That is when a supermoon occurs. The next supermoon won’t happen until 2034!

Published on December 14th, 2016

Last updated on August 29th, 2017