Science

Closest supermoon in 68 years shines bright

Closest supermoon in 68 years shines bright

The full moon graced the clear skies of Cape Town, South Africa, giving locals a chance to catch a glimpse of the celestial spectacle.

The moon was closest to the earth at 11:21 GMT, when it was 356,509km away from the earth.

Mon, November 14, 2016 STARGAZERS around the world are looking forward to catching a glimpse of the biggest supermoon in almost 70 years, take a look back at other phenomenal supermoon's over the years.

Earlier on Monday the gap between the Earth and the moon closed to its shortest point, known as the perigee - a distance of 221,525 miles.

Cloudy conditions hampered the endeavors of numerous sky-gazers to see the supermoon as it came nearer to Earth than it has in decades.

The technical name is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system.

"I've been telling people to go out at night on either Sunday or Monday night to see the supermoon", said Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission.

"To the naked eye it's quite hard to tell the difference, but you can see it better with a camera".

The reason the distance varies is the moon's slightly elliptical orbit. As a result, this Supermoon appeared 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than it does at its smallest and was the largest and brightest Supermoon since January 26, 1948. About every 14th full moon is a supermoon, said University of Wisconsin astronomer Jim Lattis.

At its perigee, the Moon will look 14pc larger than normal. The next one like it won't occur again until november 25, 2034.

Supermoons during the winter months tend to look larger than supermoons that occur during the rest of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Besides November's, there was one on October 16 and there will be another on December 14, although neither are as close as this month's.