Moon Watch: The Moon is in a waxing (growing larger) gibbous (more than half lit) phase.
Full moon is Sunday, Dec. 3. At that time, it will be a supermoon, the only one in 2017. A “supermoon” occurs if the moon is at its closest approach to the Earth when it is full.
The average distance between the center of the Earth and the center of the Moon is 239,228 miles. This distance varies from a low of 221,500 miles at perigee (moon closest to the Earth) to a high of 252,700 miles at apogee (Moon farthest from the Earth).
This Sunday the moon will be about 222,272 miles from the Earth.
A supermoon is not all that super. The moon may appear a bit larger and brighter.
A full moon at perigee can be up to 14 percent larger in diameter than a full moon at apogee.
Of course, most of the time the full moon is somewhere between perigee and apogee, and the difference in appearance from one full moon to the next is slight. A full moon at apogee is sometimes called a micromoon.
The supermoon on Nov. 14, 2016 was at a distance of 221,526 miles. It was the closest supermoon since 1948.
While the supermoon phenomenon is interesting, it is of no importance astronomically. It is does gives us pause, however, to appreciate our moon, which is always gorgeous and far more complex than it first seems.