Sky watchers could be in for a treat with the upcoming supermoon on Nov. 14. It will be the biggest in nearly 70 years.
According to EarthSky, the November supermoon will only be 221,524 miles from Earth. That’s the closest the moon has been since January 1948.
Because the moon will be so close to Earth, it will appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an average full moon, weather permitting, of course.
NASA says the next time the moon will be this close is on Nov. 25, 2034.
As NASA explains, the visual effect is because the moon has an elliptical orbit, one side (the perigee) is about 30,000 miles closer to Earth than the other side (the apogee).
Supermoons, or a perigee moon, aren’t uncommon. We just had one on Oct. 16 and we’ll have another one on Dec. 14.
However, this one is special due to its proximity. If you want to see the supermoon at its biggest, the peak of its full phase will be on Nov. 14 at 3:52 a.m. HST.
The best time to enjoy a supermoon is when it’s closest to the horizon, at moonrise or moonset. At this position, a supermoon will look bigger and brighter than when it’s higher up in the sky, because you can compare the apparent size of the supermoon with the landscape.
This effect is an optical illusion and popularly called the “moon illusion.”
Moonrise and moonset times for Hawaii:
- Nov. 13, 2016
Moonset: W 5:44 a.m.
Moonrise: ENE 5:38 p.m.
- Nov. 14, 2016
Moonset: WNW 6:50 a.m.
Moonrise: ENE 6:32 p.m.
- Nov. 15, 2016
Moonset: WNW 7:56 a.m.
Moonrise: ENE 7:29 p.m.
But if you can’t schedule the exact times, don’t worry. The moon anytime between Nov. 13 through Nov. 15 should be a sight to see.
Bishop Museum’s J. Watumull Planetarium is holding a special supermoon event on Nov. 13, with public viewing and special shows.
Planetarium director, Mike Shanahan, joined us on Wake Up 2day to talk about the supermoon.
Super Moon at Bishop Museum’s J. Watumull Planetarium:
Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016
- The Moon Show – 6 p.m.: Live planetarium show exploring the lunar phases and what constitutes a supermoon.
- Supermoon Viewing – 7-8 p.m.: Explore the super moon and the night sky from Bishop Museum’s telescopes.
- Laser Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon – 8 p.m.: The entire classic album about the moon, set to lasers.
The Moon Show or Laser Pink Floyd:
$10 general, $7 children 4-12, $5 for museum members
Discount for both shows:
$17 general, $12 children 4-12, $7 for museum members
In order to attend the supermoon viewing, visitors must purchase tickets to either The Moon Show or Laser Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon. Reservations are highly recommended. Tickets cost $10 general, $7 children 4-12, $5 for museum members per show, or $17 general, $12 children 4-12, $7 for museum members for both shows. (Note: The museum itself is closed at this time.)