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20th Dec 2016

There Will Be An Incredible Supermoon Visible Tonight In Ireland


A rare ‘super moon’ will make a tremendous appearance tonight across the world – and we are all in for such a treat. 

But, what is a ‘super moon’ you ask?

Ever see a moon in the sky so close it appears you could touch it? That, my friend, is a super moon. The full lunar disc appears 14% bigger and up to 30% brighter than a regular moon and is fantastically ‘super’ in every way. It happens as the moon comes closer to Earth than it has done for 69 years.

NASA describes the event as”undeniably beautiful”, so you know it’s pretty good.

The next time the moon will be just as ‘super’ is 25 November, 2034, so you might want to make a note in your calendar.

So, when’s the best time to watch it? 

At 11.23am the gap between the Earth and the moon will be at its shortest, known as ‘perigee’ – a distance of a mere 356,510km.

However, sky watchers in Ireland will have to wait a little longer before the full moon emerges in all its glory, shortly before 5pm.

In addition to the moon being bigger in size, moon watchers will also be treated to an additional “low-hanging moon” effect.

This is an optical illusion caused by the moon being close to the horizon, where it can be measured against familiar objects such as trees and houses.

Robin Scagell, vice-president of the UK-based Society for Popular Astronomy had this to say about the dreamy evening ahead:

It will be above rooftops and trees and chimneys and always appears bigger that way because you’re comparing it to foreground objects.

I’m always pleased for people to get their binoculars out and look up at the craters and the seas.

The last time the moon was this close to the Earth was in 1948.

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