If you need a break from worldly matters, try looking up to the skies tonight for some celestial tranquility. On Monday, the distance between the Earth and the moon will be at its shortest — just a mere 221,524 miles away — making the moon appear both brighter and bigger. Known as a "supermoon," Monday night's lunar display is one that you don't want to miss, since the last time the supermoon appeared this big was 68 years ago. Who can see the supermoon tonight? It's all about your lucky stars: Where you live and what the weather will be like in your viewing area are the two biggest factors that will determine whether you'll get to see tonight's heavenly event.
While the supermoon looks brighter and bigger — 30 percent more luminous and 14 percent larger on Monday night, to be precise — the moon isn't actually changing size as it approaches the Earth's perigee; but its proximity to our planet and 100 percent fullness account for this unique, dazzling sight. A supermoon as spectacular as Monday's hasn't been seen since 1948 and won't be seen again until 2034 — so you definitely don't want to miss the opportunity to check it out Monday night if you can. Here's where your best bets are for viewing tonight's supermoon.
Anywhere It's Not Cloudy
While November's supermoon reached perigree at 6:22 a.m. Eastern Time and 100 percent fullness just two and a half hours later on Monday morning, Monday night will still provide a spectacular show — barring bad weather where you live. According to a statement by NASA, Noah Petro, deputy project scientist, said:
I’ve been telling people to go out at night on either Sunday or Monday night to see the supermoon. The difference in distance from one night to the next will be very subtle, so if it’s cloudy on Sunday, go out on Monday. Any time after sunset should be fine.
Anywhere You Can Find A "Moon Illusion" Effect
What is a moon illusion? It's a neat optical illusion in the sky when the moon appears much larger the closer it is to the horizon. The higher in the sky the moon is, it appears much smaller — even though that's not the case. A great way to look for places with moon illusions is on east-facing beaches and horizons. According to Business Insider, looking at the moon as it's near tall buildings or landmarks is another great way to bring the moon illusion into greater focus. Here are three other cool examples of the supermoon and the moon illusion from around the globe:
If weather or time of day are not in your favor, you don't have to wait 18 years to see the next supermoon: Mark your calendars for Dec. 14 — the third and last supermoon of 2016. It won't be as bright and big as Monday night's display, but will still be cool to witness for yourself all the same.