December’s Super Moon rises in Rockport

Posted:  Monday, December 4, 2017 - 8:45pm
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Rockport photographer Peter Ralston caught the only super moon of 2017 as it climbed into they sky over Rockport’s public safety building.

The moon, referred to on Dec. 3 as the Full Cold Moon, had a large presence, made larger by its position to earth.

Super moons represent the phenomenon that occurs when the moon is closest to earth at the same time it is full.

According to space.com: “This makes the moon appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual.”

The moon was totally full at 10:47 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, and it reached pedigree (its closest point to earth in its orbit) at 3:45 a.m. Dec. 4. 

The moon’s distance from earth, on average, is 238,000 miles. Early in the morning Dec. 4 it was  222,135 miles away.

“When it reaches apogee, or its farthest distance from Earth, on Dec. 19, it will be 252,651 miles away,” according to space.com. “That's a difference of 30,516 miles — but the moon's distance from Earth can vary more than that. The perigee for December's supermoon won't even be the closest this year; that happened May 25, when the not-so-super new moon was 221,958 miles  away from Earth. That date didn't coincide with a full moon, though, so it didn't qualify as a supermoon.”

There will be two super moons in January — the first on Jan. 1 and the second, Jan. 31. The latter is to be a marvel.

“If you only have time to catch one of them, be sure to check out the ‘extra-special’ Jan. 31 super moon, NASA said in a statement Friday (Dec. 1),” said space.com. “The late January super moon will take place during a total lunar eclipse visible from western North America, the Pacific and Eastern Asia. It will also be a blue moon, too.”

 https://www.space.com/38969-supermoon-trilogy-kicks-off-dec-3.html