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When is the best time to see the Supermoon? – University of Reading

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When is the best time to see the Supermoon?

Release Date 14 October 2016

Don't miss the Supermoon this weekend (Photo by kavya-b - Flickr)

Astronomy fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the Supermoon should act fast this weekend in order to get the most dramatic view, a meteorology expert from the University of Reading has advised.

Professor Chris Scott has explained the phenomenon in a video, in which he states the best time to see the moon looking at its biggest is soon after it rises at around 5.20pm on Sunday 14 October.

This is because it is possible to compare the full moon with objects like trees and buildings while it is close to the horizon while it is at its closest point to Earth.

Pending some clear weather, the moon will appear 14% bigger in the sky and 30% brighter on Sunday night.

Prof Scott said: “The moon’s orbit around the Earth is not perfectly circular, so there are some times when it is slightly further away than at others. The Supermoon is when it is at its closest point.

“As the sun sets, the moon will be rising on the opposite horizon. When it is close to the horizon it does look artificially large because you can compare it with the trees and houses.”

But if a cloudy sky forces you to miss this rare celestial event, don’t worry because 2016 is a bumper year for Supermoons. You can catch another two this year, on November 14 and December 14.

Also worth keeping an eye out for is the Orionid meteor shower on October 21.

For more videos, visit the University of Reading's Youtube channel.

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