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Only supermoon of year to rise over Arizona on Saturday, Sunday nights

(AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Arizona sky watchers have a great opportunity to view the only supermoon of 2017! Get set to see the majestic full moon rising over Arizona on both Saturday and Sunday evenings.

The moon will appear about 14 percent closer and 30 percent brighter on those nights compared to normal.

On Saturday, the moon will rise about 5 p.m. with sunset following about 20 minutes later. Look to the northeast to snap a really good photo.

On Sunday, the moon will rise about 5:53 p.m. and will present another great photo opportunity.

A supermoon is defined as either a new of full moon that comes within 90 percent of the all-time closest position in its orbit of Earth. The term does not actually come from astronomy, but rather from astrology.

We have not had a full moon that has been that close to Earth until this weekend’s.

On Sunday morning, the lunar body will be 222,443 miles away from our planet, the closest distance this year.

The distance between the moon’s closest and furthest points from Earth is about 30,000 miles. What makes the December full moon so special is the fact that it will be one day away from lunar perigee, the closest the moon gets to Earth in a calendar month.

In contrast, the farthest moon of 2017 occurred on June 9, when it was a distant 252,443 miles from Earth at its apogee.

The December full moon is also known as the Cold Moon and the Long Night Moon, as it takes a very long path across the night sky.

The December moon will be the first in a new series of supermoons. There will be two in January.

The full moon of Jan. 31 will also be known as a blue moon, as it is the second full moon in a calendar month.

The Jan. 2 moon will actually be closer to Earth than this month’s: It will be within some 222,000 miles of us. The closest that the moon can get to Earth is 221,439 miles.

Some portions of the world will experience a total lunar eclipse on Jan. 31.

Here is your very own November sky map to help locate many of the objects and events listed above.


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