The only supermoon this year is coming up on Sunday

What is a supermoon?

The moon will rise in the Doha sky at 4.49pm on Sunday and the full moon phase will occur at 6.47pm, Dr Marzouk explained, adding that the moon will set at 6.31am the next day. They appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than normal.

The moon will be as close to us as it gets on Sunday as it makes its way around its elliptical orbit.

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While this supermoon is 2017's one and only, 2018 will start with two in succession. However, in my new house, the moon does not seem anywhere near as big or bright even though it's the exact same moon.

A Super Moon occurs when a full moon happens to also reach its closest approach to Earth in its orbit.

That puts the moon almost 26,000 miles (41,842 kilometres) closer to Earth on Sunday than usual. This is rare because as the Earth revolves around the sun, the moon's orientation to Earth stays mostly the same.

However, December's full moon is the only visible supermoon. From my old view, when the moon was high in the sky outside of my window, it appeared that it was close enough that I could throw a lasso around it and pull it right into my apartment.


"For this year's final supermoon, the perigee distance will be approximately 222,135 miles in the early morning hours of December 4 (in the United States)", says Nichols.

According to NASA, "supermoon" is not an astronomical term, so there's no official definition or guideline for how close the full moon has to be near the perigee in order to be deemed a "supermoon". It'll be 2017's first, last and only supermoon.

So, why is the moonrise the best time to view the supermoon?

Bill Ingalls, a NASA photographer, says that those capturing the event through their smartphones have to focus on the correct light balance. "Then slide your finger up or down to darken or lighten the exposure".

"One reason why the horizon might appear more distant than the sky overhead is that our brains perceive the shape of "space" as a gently flattened dome rather than a perfectly round sphere", Drake wrote.

Most astronomers suggest watching the supermoon right after sunset and into moonrise, and minutes before the next sunrise as well. It won't be visible with the bright moon. "It's a fun way to get involved in science".

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