New Year’s Day Will End with Another ‘Supermoon’ Spectacle

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An airplane bound for Lindbergh Field passes in front of the last supermoon of 2017 in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

New Year’s Day will culminate with the second “supermoon” in a month — and a third will follow 30 days later.

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The moon will make the closest approach to the earth in its orbit in the early afternoon on Monday, and when it rises in San Diego at 4:54 p.m., it will appear about 14 percent larger than usual.

Monday’s night’s supermoon is the second in what NASA calls an unusual “trilogy.” The first was Dec. 3, and the last will be on Jan. 31.

Astronomers caution that while the moon is closer and brighter, it’s sometimes hard for people to tell the difference if they’re not anticipating it.

“The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the moon, not just that once but every chance they have,” said Noah Petro, a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Jan. 31 supermoon will be even better because in coincides with a total eclipse of the moon on the West Coast.

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