November supermoon in Australia: How to make the most of the rare natural occurrence

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Supermoon Australia
A supermoon rises behind the roof of the Sydney Opera House August 10, 2014. The astronomical event occurs when the moon is closest to Earth in its orbit, making it appear much larger and brighter than usual. Reuters/David Gray

On Nov. 14, the moon will be the closest it has been to the Earth’s orbit since Jan. 26, 1948, with the next "extra-supermoon" expected not earlier than Nov. 25, 2034. With this rare natural occurrence coming around only once every few decades, one should take the advantage of seeing it in the best possible way and in the most opportune time.

READ: Supermoon November 2016 Australia: When and where to best view the biggest supermoon of the last 70 years

Get the time and date right

The supermoon will be best viewed on the evening of Nov. 14, Monday, around 10:23 p.m. This will reportedly be the time when the the moon will be closest to the Earth’s orbit this month. The full moon crest, however, will occur two hours later at 12:23 a.m. on Nov. 15.

Get the place right

As Perry Vlahos, the vice-president of the Astronomical Society of Victoria, discussed with The Sydney Morning Herald, the best place to gaze at the supermoon from within Sydney is at an east-facing beach. “Manly or Bondi would be good,” he said. “In Melbourne, it would be a beach on the western side of Port Phillip Bay,"

However, those within the cities should watch from the highest possible point possible, as this may be the only way they have an undisrupted view of the supermoon.

Get the right mindset

According to the ABC, supermoons can appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent larger, so the difference between a regular night and Nov. 14 will be significant. Vlahos did, however, note that the November supermoon will not be distinguishable from from others of its kind -- at least by the naked eye. So while it will definitely not be necessary to set up a telescope to appreciate the beauty of the supermoon, doing so will help distinguish details.  

READ: Kaley Cuoco’s ‘Burning Budhi’ co-star Sasha Pieterse shares supermoon photo

Why the November supermoon is so special

A supermoon is not technically a rare occurrence, as it is defined when as when the moon is both orbiting close to the earth and it is in its full phase. As such, it seems much larger and brighter. There are about four to six supermoons in a year. The November “extra-supermoon,” however, is particularly significant because it will be the closest the moon has been to the Earth in 70 years.

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