But this year's supermoon will still appear 7% bigger and 16% brighter than the average full moon. According to NASA, it's used by the media today to describe what astronomers would call a perigean full moon: a full moon occurring near or at the time when the moon is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth. At that point, the moon will be just 222,135 miles from Earth, almost 16,000 miles closer than it normally is throughout the year. They appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than normal. This is because the previous two were around the time of a new moon, which isn't visible in the sky. December's perigee will bring the Moon within 221,821 miles to Earth. In fact, the change in the moon's apparent size throughout its orbit is imperceptible to the unaided eye.
Still, don't sleep on the supermoon expected Sunday: It's the only one we'll see for all of 2017. This supermoon will be the first in the series of three consecutive full moon supermoons, the next two to occur in January. The moon should sit near the constellation Taurus, though it shouldn't be hard to spot.
To take a picture of the supermoon with a smartphone, tap on the moon on the screen and hold your finger in place to lock the camera's focus.
How to watch the only visible “supermoon” of 2017 this weekend
For those using DSLR cameras, Ingalls recommends using another subject in the image, like a person, pet or landmark to compare to the size of the moon.
This Sunday is your chance to get up close and personal with the Moon.
Bigger and brighter than a typical full moon, the term "supermoon" was coined in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle. "Still, it's a great excuse to just go out and look at the sky", says Nichols. Do it near the horizon, and do it again away from the horizon. "It's a fun way to get involved in science". Especially if you get something in the foreground when taking photos.