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Biggest supermoon since 1948 tonight

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Provided that the skies are clear, the Philippines will see a full moon that will appear exceptionally brighter and closer than it has in nearly 70 years tonight.

The full moon has not been as close to the Earth since January 26, 1948, according to Dario dela Cruz, chief of the Space Sciences and Astronomy Section of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration.

“This means we’ll be seeing a closer and larger apparent diameter moon this year – a supermoon,” Dela Cruz said.

A supermoon is basically a modern astrological term coined by Richard Nolle and defined it as “a new or full moon that occurs when the moon is within 90 percent of its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit,” Dela Cruz said.

However, he explained that in astronomy, the event is called as perigee full moon – a full moon that is closer to Earth than average.

According to the United States-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a super moon or perigee full moon can be as much as 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an apogee full moon – a full moon that is farther to Earth than average.

However, PAGASA noted that a 30 percent difference in brightness can easily be masked by clouds or the competing glare of urban lights.

Dela Cruz said the moon will not be seen this close to Earth again until November 26, 2034. (Ellalyn B. de Vera)

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