Supermoon 2017: How to see it in Chicago Sunday

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3, after sunset, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of the first full moon supermoon of 2017! But what is a supermoon? And considering the word describes the moon when it's closest to the Earth, causing it to appear bigger than normal proves the namesake is definitely deserved. So, the moon will appear full as well as brighter and bigger than usual.

The supermoon (when the moon is in the phase of the full moon passes the point of perigee, at the minimum distance from Earth) will occur at 19:49, it can be observed until the morning of December 4 over the southern horizon.

Why? The timing has to be just right. On average, the distance between the Earth and the Moon is usually 238,000 miles.

The moon's closest point to Earth during orbit is called its perigee, and the moon will be at 222,135 miles away from Earth when it reaches its perigee during the early hours of December 4, according to It's called a supermoon and it only happens once this year.

This occurs when the moon is full and at perigee simultaneously. This is due to Earth's tilt in its rotation while it orbits the Sun. These differences are most noticeable when the moon is full. In fact, it's the only Super Moon we've had this year.

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This year, this Sunday night, the moon is forecast to shine 16% brighter and appear 7% larger than its usual size.

Native Americans dubbed December's full moon the Full Cold Moon because it signals the beginning of winter when cold weather fastens its grip on much of the country until spring.

The supermoon can be viewed with the naked eye between the moonrise time over the eastern horizon and the moonset time in the western horizon.

Unlike a solar eclipse, a supermoon can be viewed without any kind of eye protection, so you won't have to worry with getting special viewing glasses for this phenomenon. But for those who can't wake up that early, the moon will still look bigger and brighter throughout the night.

If you're dreading the beginning of Mercury Retrograde Dec. 3, you can counteract the smallest planet's bad mojo by setting your intentions under December's supermoon, which is happening the same day.