In terms of the celestial status, 2017 is a big year for the moon. In 2017, in fact, there will be four supermoons. Does that make the moon, I don't know, super duper this year? Or something? Anyway, Apr. 26 will mark a super special supermoon, because it's not a full supermoon — it's a new supermoon. But, what is the new moon supermoon of 2017? Well, first, it's one of three of its kind this year. And second, it won't look like anything you'd expect.
The supermoon we all know and love is that big, round, flat looking coin in the sky that's got an auburn tint and megawatt glow. That's the full moon supermoon. It's the result of a phenomenon that happens when the moon is both full and on its closest approach to Earth — less than 223,694 miles, to be exact. But the new moon's supermoon won't look at all the same — the new moon looks like, well, nothing, because it's phase of the moon when situated with the sun in such a way that it is invisible from Earth. So what does a moon that's close to Earth but out of view from the sun look like? Enter new moon supermoon.
Unfortunately, the new moon on Apr. 26 will be hidden by the glare of the sun. You might notice a glow of brightness where the moon would be, but you also might notice nothing. Unless of course you live on the beach and study the waves every day: If this is the case, you'll notice much higher than usual tides at the shoreline.
But don't be too upset. Just because you can't see the celestial event doesn't mean it's not happening. And besides, if you watch the sunset the next night, on Apr. 27, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the young moon. That will look like a giant, illuminated toe nail clipping — but much, much more beautiful than that description sounds. And a super young moon is an extra cool sight to see — it's a shape we don't often celebrate or photograph but will look equally magnificent.
Of all of the supermoons this year, the real stand-out performance will be by the Dec. 3, 2017 supermoon. Why? Because it takes place on a full moon phase so it will be super duper in that spectacular kind of way. Though it never hurts to look up, so spend as much time star gazing as you want. You never know what you might see — it could be way more interesting than a big ol' moon.