The last supermoon of the year is worth bundling up for, especially when you might catch a few meteors from the Geminids meteor shower.
The moon will be at its peak at 7:05 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday evening, so don’t worry about staying up late. Because the peak is pretty close to moonrise (around 4:40 p.m. Eastern), the Moon should be lower in the sky, creating a bit more of a “moon effect” where the Moon appears larger closer to the horizon. The Moon will be in the sky until around dawn, though, so don’t plan on waiting it out to catch the peak of the Geminids meteor shower.
Supermoons appear to be as much as 15 percent larger in the sky, and as much as 30 percent brighter. December’s supermoon won’t be quite as big as November’s, because the November supermoon was the closest the moon will get to Earth until 2034. But tides will still be high, and the sky will still be bright. We got lucky with three supermoons this year, because the Moon’s closest point to Earth also happened to be the point when it’s opposite the Sun.
This full moon is sometimes called the Cold Moon, thanks to the frigid temperatures around the beginning of winter. If cold and clouds keep you from seeing the last supermoon until May 2017, you can always livestream the event over on Virtual Telescope.