There are regular full moons, and then there are supermoons. So how can you see the supermoon in October? Fortunately, it's not too difficult — provided you aren't cursed with heavy cloud cover.
Despite the name, supermoons are more common than you might think. A supermoon happens when a full moon occurs when the moon is at or close to the point in its orbit when it is closest to Earth — a point known as the perigee. This makes the moon look especially large. Downright "super" in fact. They're not especially uncommon — in any given year, there are usually several — but they are really cool. I mean, who doesn't want to see a gigantic moon up in the sky.
The next supermoon will be happening on the night of Oct. 16, 2016 here in the United States; it will reach its absolute peak fullness around 12:30 a.m. EST, though to the naked eye it will appear to be equally full all night long. And like all supermoons, it promises to be pretty cool.
So how can you ensure you get the best view? Just follow these simple steps.
1. Pick Your Time
The moon always appears to be largest while it is close to the horizon. Scientists don't fully understand why this happens, but it certainly does. So you're best chance to get the full supermoon experience is to catch the moon when it first comes up. You can check the exact time of moonrise in your city, but it will probably be around 6:30pm.
Or, if you're more of a morning person, you can also check the moon out around the time it's setting in the West — which will probably be around 6:30 in the morning, if you're in the United States and observing Daylight Saving Time.
But, really, the moon is going to be pretty huge no matter what time you look at it.
2. Go Outside
The moon is outside, so you should go there, too. It makes it a lot easier to find a good angle for viewing.
3. Look Up
The moon, obviously, is in the sky. If it's near moonrise, it will be near the horizon in the East, or if it's morning it will be setting in the West. And at any point in between it will be somewhere higher in the sky. And since it's pretty big and pretty bright, you should be able to pick it out.
You just have to hope that there's no heavy cloud cover that night, since clouds would block the moon from view — even if it is a supermoon.
Images: Giphy (3)