November Supermoon will be biggest in nearly 70 years

A record-breaking supermoon will brighten the night sky Sunday and Monday.

Not only will it be the closest full moon of the year, NASA said, it will be the closest since 1948 — which is still the last time the Cleveland Indians won the World Series. The full moon won't travel so near to Earth again until Nov. 25, 2034, NASA said.

A supermoon occurs when the moon is slightly closer to Earth than it typically is, and the effect is most noticeable when it occurs around the same time as a full moon. A supermoon can appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than when a full moon is at its farthest distance from Earth, according to NASA.

The moon will look plenty full and bright all night both Sunday and Monday as it rises in the east around sunset, climbs highest around midnight and then sets in the west at or near sunrise, EarthSky reports.

The exact moment of the full moon is the morning of Nov. 14 at 8:52 a.m. EST, (7:52 a.m. CST, 6:52 a.m. MST, and 5:52 a.m. PST), Space.com said. The moon will reach perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth for this month – within about 90 minutes of that time. EarthSky said.

Skies are forecast to be clear across most of the nation both Sunday and Monday nights, but there will be a few cloudy spots, according to the National Weather Service. On Sunday, clouds could block the view in the Pacific Northwest, much of Alaska and along the Gulf Coast. Monday, in addition to those locations, clouds are also likely in the Great Lakes, the Dakotas and central Florida.

The word supermoon was coined in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle, AccuWeather's Mark Paquette says. Nolle used the term to describe a new or full moon that occurs when the moon is at or near its closest approach to Earth.

Astronomy site Slooh.com is calling this supermoon a "mega beaver moon" to include the moon's folklore name for November.

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the November moon was named the beaver moon partly because, “for both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.”

Contributing: Mary Bowerman, USA TODAY

USA TODAY


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