The final supermoon of 2016 on December 14 was definitely worth a watch and for those who missed out on watching the phenomenon, don’t worry as there are hundreds of images and videos on the web that you can feast your eyes with.
December supermoon was the sixth one for 2016 with the first three happening in March, April and May followed by two more in October and November. The term supermoon was originally used modern astrology for a new or full moon that occurs when the moon is within 90 per cent of its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit, but now they are more often referred to a full moon that is closer to Earth than average.
The supermoon of December 14 was remarkable for not only its beauty for another reason as well: it effectively shadowed the Geminid meteor shower, which otherwise is another celestial event worth a watch. Bright moonlight reduced the visibility of faint meteors five to ten fold, transforming the usually fantastic Geminids into an astronomical footnote. Sky watchers weren’t lucky enough and only saw about a dozen Geminids per hour when the shower peaked.
A supermoon, or perigee full moon can be as much as 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than an apogee full moon. However it’s not always easy to tell the difference. A 30% difference in brightness can easily be masked by clouds or the competing glare of urban lights. Also, there are no rulers floating in the sky to measure lunar diameters. Hanging high overhead with no reference points to provide a sense of scale, one full moon looks much like any other.
The next supermoon will now happen in December 2017 and so its a year’s worth of wait, but until then you can check out the videos of December 2016 supermoon below: