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December supermoon dazzles in morning sky

05 December 2017

December's full moon, which is also known for obvious reasons as the Cold Moon, appears bigger and brighter in the sky as it sits closer than average to Earth.

The only "supermoon" of 2017 rose on Sunday night.

So why doesn't this happen more often?

The moon is usually about 238,000 miles away from Earth but when in perigee it is about 222, 135 miles away - that's a difference of 30,516 miles.

Regular observers of the full moon may notice the difference between a regular full moon and a supermoon, but sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference.

This weekend the moon was at its closest point to the Earth or at perigee.

The January 31 supermoon will also be the second full Moon of the month. The same is true of mini-moons which are when the full moon occurs at or near lunar apogee.

While skies were cloudy for most of the night, early morning risers caught a glimpse of the full moon. A third supermoon on January 31 will be extra special.

Blue moons aren't that rare.

"We're seeing all of the Earth's sunrises and sunsets at that moment reflected from the surface of the Moon", says Sarah Noble, a Program Scientist at NASA headquarters. Totally eclipsed Moons are for this reason called "blood Moons".

December supermoon dazzles in morning sky