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Super Moon

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A super moon is a rare sighting of where the moon is closest to the Earth. It was last seen in December 2017. It will next be seen in November 2024.

What is a Super moon?[edit]

While the moon's average distance is 238,000 miles (382,900 km) from Earth, it's orbit isn't perfectly circular, so that distance varies a small amount. When it reaches apogee, or its farthest distance from Earth, on Dec. 19, it will be 252,651 miles (406,603 km) away. That's a difference of 30,516 miles (48,110km) - but the moon's distance from Earth can vary more than that.

The perigee for December's supermoon won't even be the closest in 2017; that happened May 25, when the not-so-super new moon was 221,958 miles (357,208 km) away from Earth. The date didn't coincide with a full moon, though, so it didn't qualify as a super moon.

Super moons don't happen every month because the moon's orbit changes orientation as the Earth goes around the sun. So, the long axis of the moon's elliptical path around the Earth points in different directions, meaning that a full (or new) moon won't always happen at a apogee or perigee.

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