South Florida

The first — and final — supermoon of 2017 will brighten the sky this weekend

A supermoon in 2015.
A supermoon in 2015. TNS

Just days after the end of hurricane season, now that we can look to the skies without trepidation, a bright treat will greet sky gazers Sunday night.

The first — and final — supermoon of 2017 will brighten the sky Sunday evening around 8 p.m. and reach its perigee at 3:45 a.m. Monday. At that point the moon will be 222,135 miles away from Earth — nearly 16,000 miles closer than it normally is during the year, Space.com reports.

South Florida sky gazers should have a good view of the supermoon as there is no rain in the forecast and skies will be partly cloudy — about 30 to 40 percent cloud cover, said National Weather Service Miami meteorologist Larry Kelly.

It won’t be quite as bright as the last one on Nov. 14, 2016, when the moon was closer to Earth than at any time in nearly 69 years. That kind of full moon won’t revisit Earth until 2034, according to NASA.

Still, Sunday’s supermoon — a non-scientific term that refers to when a full moon coincides with its perigee, the point in its orbit when it makes its closest approach to Earth — should appear larger and brighter than usual.

If you’re occupied Sunday evening watching CBS’ “The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special” or NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks, or don’t feel like waking up at 3:45 a.m. Monday, you’ll have two more supermoons to choose from soon.

The next supermoons are on Jan. 2 and Jan. 31, 2018.

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