Today a phenomenal astronomical event called the 'Supermoon' is going to take place. Although the occurrence of the event is fairly common, this is a special occasion where the Moon would get very close to the earth. So what is all the fuss about?
What is a Supermoon?
You have seen a lot of "Your favourite chips now in a 10% larger pack" ads. Supermoon is a seemingly bigger moon because on these occasions it gets closer to the earth than usual. Its scientific name is the unpronounceable perigee-syzygy, so I think we are good with 'Supermoon'.
When do they occur?
The occurrence is fairly frequent. In fact, we have had six Supermoons in 2016. This is the fifth time and the next one will take place on 14 December.
So, what is the big deal about this one?
Well, this is the instance where the moon gets the closest to the earth in past 70 years. It will be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual. (As Apple's Jony Ive would say, "This is the best moon we have produced in years"). The distance of the moon from the earth would be 356,508 kilometers. However, the biggest Supermoon of the century will take place in December 2052.
When can I see this?
In India, the Supermoon can be seen today from 6:22 PM IST. The sky is mostly going to be clear, so the moon would be easy to spot. Although the closest distance of the moon from the earth will occur at 1.22 AM IST on 15 November. You don't need any special equipments to get experience this event.
Will there be any effects?
Sure, the tides will change and they are expected to be bigger than usual. While there have been a lot of speculations about human health being affected during lunar events. Some studies have drawn vauge conclusions but no solid proofs exists. Don't worry about the werewolves.