How To See The Supermoon On Nov. 14, Since You Definitely Won't Want To Miss It
Regardless of what happens in next week's election, here's something to take your mind off of politics, and, well, all earthly things in general. A week after Election Day, the moon will be the closest it's been to the earth in nearly 70 years, displaying a spectacular supermoon. Here's how to see the supermoon on Nov. 14, because, chances are, you'll enjoy the opportunity to space out and decompress.
Supermoons themselves are not very rare, as they happen an average of four to six times per year. The last supermoon of this year occurred on Oct. 18, but November's supermoon should be special due to a few factors. As NASA announced earlier, on Nov. 14, our moon will look up to "14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an average full moon," so find a balcony, stand in a field, or get as far away from city lights as you can manage to really see it at its best and brightest.
Big, bright supermoons occur because the moon orbits in an ellipse, according to NASA. Seeing as the moon doesn't move around the earth in a perfect circle, it can be closer to the earth than normal by as much as 30,000 miles (this close side of the orbit is called the "perigee"). A supermoon happens when, in addition to being at perigee, the Earth, sun, and moon line up during orbit (an occurrence called "syzygy"). Add perigee to syzygy, and you've got yourself a supermoon.
To get the most out of your supermoon-viewing experience, you'll want to make sure you've got the timing right. For American viewers, EarthSky recommends that, though Nov. 14 will offer quite the display, peeking out on Nov. 13 might be more remarkable, as that's when "the moon is closer to full." If you're willing to get up early for the moon's sake, East Coasters should aim for a 7:52 a.m wake-up, and those on the West Coast should go for 5:52 a.m. After no longer than an hour and a half, the perigee will occur, revealing its splendor.
In a dream world, you'd be way up in the sky to view the supermoon. Last year, Spring Airlines in China offered Supermoon viewing flights to get passengers even closer while celebrating the concurrent Moon Festival—a ticket that was probably totally worth it.
If you can carve out the time to see the supermoon, then do. A supermoon of this magnitude won't occur again until Nov. 25, 2034, so witnessing something this special might be soothing and humbling. At the very least, you might get a glowing (albeit fuzzy) Instagram pic out of it.