Cyprus Mail

Another supermoon tonight

File photo

Tonight will bring the last opportunity in 2016 for the public to see a supermoon, a moon that is significantly brighter than on normal days.

This year’s two previous super moons occurred on October 16 and November 14. The one in November was the brightest in the past 68 years.

While the one on November 14 was 30 per cent brighter and 14 per cent larger than an average full moon, this one, will seem 30 per cent brighter and 13 per cent larger.

The apparent variation is due to the orbit of the moon around the earth which is elliptical and not circular.

Today’s supermoon may be disappointing news for some astronomy enthusiasts.

At the same time the moon can be seen the most reliable of annual meteor displays, December’s Geminids, will reach their peak.

According to NASA, the brightness of the full moon outshine the shooting stars while the US space agency expects that 12 shooting stars per hour instead of 100-120 shooting stars per hour will be visible as the brilliant moonlight will likely hide all but the very brightest meteors.

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