North Dakota will See a Supermoon This Weekend
This weekend, the first and last 'Supermoon' of 2017 will appear for all to see, appearing larger and brighter than it has all year.
A supermoon happens when the moon's perigee (or closest orbit distance to Earth) coincides with a full moon. When this happens in December, due to the time of year, it is also known as a 'Full Cold Moon.' When a supermoon occurs, the moon will appear 14 percent larger than in size and will also appear to be up to 30 percent brighter than normal.
According to timeanddate.com, the moon will become full over Bismarck at 9:46 a.m. on Sunday morning, December 3rd. While that doesn't give much time for visibility of the full moon, if any, the moon's perigee won't reach until early Monday morning, December 4th, at 2:45 a.m. as it will be approximately 222,135 miles away from Earth. The moon's average distance from Earth is 238,000 miles. Because the moon's orbit isn't perfectly circular, this distance varies.
In contrast, the moon will reach its apogee (or farthest orbit distance from Earth) on Tuesday, December 19th when the distance will be 252,651 miles from Earth.
For you stargazers and others who will carry their weekend partying into the early hours of Monday morning, this will be your one and only chance to see a supermoon in 2017, so make sure you're looking up and have a Happy Supermoon!