Look east! 2017 supermoon rises Sunday

supermoon
The supermoon seen over Ithaca on Nov. 13, 2016. (Rachael Lynn via Facebook)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Sunday brings about our monthly appearance of a full moon, but this weekend it will be especially spectacular.

Each month the moon rotates around the earth in an ellipse rather than a perfect circle. That means during each month the moon is sometimes passing closer to the earth than others. When the moon is passing close to the earth, is is called “perigee.” Far passes are called “apogee.”

A description of the moon’s orbit.

Supermoons occur roughly once a year. During a supermoon, the full moon comes to fruition at the same time as a close pass. The moon swings about 50,000 km closer to the earth during a perigee pass, so it makes the full moon appear bigger and brighter than usual!

Information on Sunday’s Supermoon

 

This year’s will occur Sunday, Dec. 3. The supermoon with rise on the eastern horizon at 4:53 p.m., passing overhead at 12:09 a.m. and setting at 7:34 a.m. on the western horizon. The weather in West Michigan looks to cooperate with partly cloudy to mostly clear skies from Saturday evening to Sunday morning.