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'Extra-super' supermoon in clear sky tonight

By SUZANNE BAKER • Nov 13, 2016 at 10:12 PM

Norwalk residents can get a good look at tonight’s “extra super” moon as the skies overhead are clear.

Not only does Earth's largest satellite appear bigger and brighter, it will be the closest it's been to the Earth since 1948.

NASA said the closest approach will occur at 7:21 a.m. Monday, when the moon comes within 221,523 miles. That's from the center of the Earth to the center of the moon. The full moon will occur at 7:52 a.m.

Since the moon will reach the crest of its full phase just before 8 a.m. Monday, observing the supermoon should be equally visible Sunday and Monday nights.

Monday's full moon deemed "super" because it is in perigee, or closest portion of its elliptical orbit around Earth. What makes it "extra super" is because the next time the moon will come that close will be Nov. 25, 2034.

During perigee, a full moon will appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than a moon in apogee at the opposite end of the orbit, also known as a micromoon.

The last time the moon was so close — actually, 29 miles closer — was in January 1948. That's the same year the Cleveland Indians last won the World Series, Petro noted, "a big year," at least there.

In 2034, the moon will come even closer, within 221,485 miles. That, too, will be a supermoon.

Because the full moon falls in November, it's also known as a "beaver moon." That name is derived from the custom practiced by colonists and Algonquin Indians, who set beaver traps in November before the swamps froze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs, according to the Farmer's Almanac. A full moon in November also is called "frost moon."


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