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Several times a year, the moon can appear larger and brighter than normal in a phenomenon called a supermoon.
The term supermoon is a relatively new term that has made its way into pop culture to describe a full moon that falls near or on perigee, the point in the moon’s orbit where it is closest to the Earth.
Even though it is an astronomical event, the term originated from an astrologer named Richard Nolle.
Nolle coined the term supermoon in 1979 in Horoscope Magazine to describe a new or full moon when it is at or within 90 percent of its closest approach to Earth.
A full moon that falls near or on perigee will appear slightly larger and brighter than other full moons.
In November of 2016, the full moon fell within just a few hours of an unusually close perigee, making it the biggest full moon in decades. Because of this, the moon appeared approximately 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a full moon that falls near apogee, the point in the moon’s orbit where it is farthest away from the Earth.
In addition to appearing larger and brighter than normal, a supermoon can also affect the oceans.
“The supermoon plays a role in the tides and has a stronger influence than other full moons,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist David Samuhel said.
This means that areas near the coast experience larger-than-normal tides and a greater risk of coastal flooding around the time of a supermoon. However, a super full moon's influence is not quite as strong as a new moon that falls near perigee.
“When you have a new moon, the sun and the moon align and work in tandem, resulting in some of the biggest tides,” Samuhel said.
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The best time to observe a supermoon is shortly after moonrise and right before moonset.
At these times, the moon is close to the horizon, creating an illusion that makes it appear even larger than when it is high in the night sky.
This is also the best time to take photographs of the moon, not only because of the illusion, but also because the moon will appear next to landmarks, such as a city skyline.
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The northeastern United States endured gusty winds, plummeting temperatures and snow this weekend.
A seventh victim has been found after a landslide struck a construction site in Penang, Malaysia on Friday.
With the exception of a day here and there, the overall weather pattern will remain chilly in the northeastern United States with opportunities for snow through the end of October.
Following a retreat of moisture, more rain will spread across Texas this week, and eventually reach areas along the Florida Gulf Coast still recovering from Hurricane Michael.
Vicente and Willa, the latter of which became a major hurricane on Sunday, will combine to bring a one-two tropical punch to southwestern and western Mexico this week.
Cold air will settle over the Northeast this week, bringing a chilly start to the 2018 World Series.
A very sharp cold front sent damaging winds and snow through areas near Chicago, Illinois.
With the northeastern United States facing gusty winds, plummeting temperatures and even snow this weekend, residents may be wondering how long the taste of winter will last.