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article imageGet ready for November's super-sized 'Supermoon'

By Karen Graham     Nov 6, 2016 in Science
Full moons in the fall and early winter always seem so bright in the clear, crisp night sky, but we are in for a treat this year. On November 14, the full moon will look like a huge beacon in the sky, an actual super-sized "supermoon."
This year, the full moons in October, November, and December all take place when the moon is closest in its orbit around the Earth. making them supermoons, according to Fox News.
But since the moon's orbit is elliptical, one side, called the perigee, is about 30,000 miles closer to the Earth than the other side, called the apogee. We will throw in a new word, called "syzygy." Syzygy is a word used to describe when the Earth, sun and moon line up as the moon orbits the Earth.
By the way, for those who love to play word games, syzygy is the shortest word in the English language containing three y's.
And yes, 2016 does have three supermoons. There was the one on October 16, and there will be one more on December 14. But the November 14 supermoon is very special because it is the closest full moon in the century and we won't see another one this big until 2034.
The full moon in November is called the Full Beaver Moon. The name is derived from the Algonquin native American tribes and was adopted by the early colonists. This was the time of year to set beaver traps before the swamps froze over, thus ensuring a supply of warm winter furs.
NASA says that the December 14 supermoon is also going to be remarkable, but for a different reason. December's full supermoon will be so bright it will wipe out the view of the Geminid meteor shower.
The brightness of the moon will reduce the visibility of the fainter meteor showers by five to 10 -fold, and as NASA says, will reduce the "Geminids into an astronomical footnote."
Just be sure to mark the date, November 14 on your calendar. The supermoon will reach the peak of its full phase on the morning of Nov. 14, at 8:52 a.m. EST (1352 GMT).
More about supermoon, November, extralarge, perigee, one of three supermonns
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