Star gazers on Monday night treated themselves to the “supermoon”, after Earth’s satellite made its closest approach since 1948.
The event described as “undeniably beautiful” by American space agency Nasa – is the result of the moon coming closer to Earth than it has done for 69 years, appearing 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than usual.
The full moon graced the clear skies of Cape Town, South Africa, giving locals a chance to catch a glimpse of the celestial spectacle.
And in Cairo, Egypt skywatchers witnessed as it rose in the eastern skies.
The moon was closest to the earth at 11:21 GMT, when it was 356,509km away from the earth. This is the closest the moon will get to Earth until 25 November 2034.
A supermoon usually takes place every one to two years, when the full moon coincides with its closest point to Earth during its monthly orbit.
Because the moon has an elliptical orbit, one side – called the perigee – is about 48,280 km (30,000 miles) closer to Earth than the other side (the apogee).
When the sun, the moon, and Earth line up as the moon orbits Earth, that’s known as syzygy (definitely something you want to keep in your back pocket for your next Scrabble match), writes Sophie Curtis on UK’s Mirror.
She further explains, when this Earth-Moon-Sun system occurs with the perigee side of the moon facing us, and the moon happens to be on the opposite side of Earth from the sun, we get what’s called a perigee-syzygy.
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