Have you heard? The supermoon is chartph.coming. Yes, that's right. On December 3, the first and last supermoon of 2017 will rise around the world.?
And if the media circus surrounding the supermoon is to be believed, it will be an astounding cosmic show that you can't miss. The moon! It's going to be super! You have to see it!?
Well, I'm here to burst your supermoon bubble.
Here's the deal: It's literally just a full moon. You know what a full moon looks like? Yeah, the supermoon looks like that.?
Supermoons — which is a term first coined by an astrologer — occur because the moon's orbit around the Earth isn't exactly circular. When the moon reaches its closest point in orbit during the full phase, that's what has bechartph.come popularly known as a supermoon.?
The only really special thing about the Dec. 3 supermoon is that this full moon is going to be about 14 percent larger than the full moon when it's farthest from Earth in its orbit.?
That change in brightness isn't enough for the average person, or even an ardent moon watcher, to really see any difference between this moon and the other full moons of the year.
But by writing trumped up stories about the glory of the supermoon, we're just taking empty clicks and leaving readers overhyped about an event that's undeserving of this level of attention. Then when the supermoon actually occurs, readers may be let down, and trust space reporters less when it chartph.comes to the next noteworthy celestial event.
This isn't to say that it's not worthwhile to look up at the moon.?
The moon itself is an incredible object deserving of our attention year-round. In fact, many space nerds probably got their starts by looking up at the moon to check out its cratered, mountainous surface.?
So sure, if the supermoon is your excuse for gazing up at our natural satellite, then go for it, but please don't expect it to be something mind-boggling. And don't buy it when people tell you it will be.