How to Make the Most of the Biggest Supermoon in Decades
The next time the moon will be this close to Earth will be Nov. 25, 2034.
The biggest supermoon in the last 70 years will light up the night sky on November 14, creating a stunning natural sight you won’t want to miss.
A supermoon is when a new or full moon occurs within 90 percent of its closest approach to Earth. The moon has an elliptical orbit and one side that’s closer to Earth. At times, the moon, sun, and Earth can line up, and when the side that’s closest to Earth is facing us while the moon orbits on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun, we get a supermoon, according to NASA.
Where and How to See the Supermoon
The supermoon this November is set to appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an average full moon, but it will appear different depending on where you are.
Try to get to a darker location away from urban lights, and locations with buildings or landmarks are good for comparing the size of the moon.
Low-hanging moons can also create an optical illusion known as a “moon illusion.”
“When the moon is near the horizon, it can look unnaturally large when viewed through trees, buildings, or other foreground objects,” according to NASA. “The effect is an optical illusion, but that fact doesn’t take away from the experience.”
The moon will appear full and bright on both November 13 and 14, with its full peak occurring on the 14th at 8:52 a.m. ET, according to EarthSky.
How to Photograph the Supermoon
For those looking to capture the supermoon in all its glory, a few photography tips can make all the difference.
Astro-photographers Andrew Whyte and Albert Dros, who took incredible images of the October supermoon, shared some tips on Sony's website.
They recommend minimizing vibrations, either with a camera with built-in stabiliziation or with a tripod, and paying attention to shutter speed. Shutter speed should be set above 1/100 seconds (or higher for longer focal lengths).
They also recommend taking photos in succession, getting back to back shots in order to capture an impressive shot.
And to get the perfect shot, you'll have to spend some time out waiting for it. Staying out later means darker skies, and the photographers recommend choosing a subject—like a tree or landmark—to include in some shots.
NASA's senior photographer, Bill Ingalls, also shared tips on capturing the supermoon eclipse last year, which can come in handy for the upcoming event.
Ingalls recommends using Google Maps, apps, and and tools like a compass to plan the right angles for a photo, scouting locations early to potentially get access to locations like roofs, and including friends and family in the photo to get a creative image.