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Look up in France tonight for the last ‘supermoon’ of the year

The Moon will be making its closest orbital approach to Earth and thus will appear bigger

A supermoon over Spain in 2020 Pic: Ivan Morato photography / Shutterstock

The fourth and last ‘supermoon’ of the year will occur tonight. According to NASA, the Moon will appear up to 5% larger, 13% brighter, and take on hues of red and orange.

‘Supermoons’ occur several times every year when the moon’s orbit reaches its periapsis, the point where it is closest to Earth.

This last ‘supermoon’ of the year is also called a ‘harvest moon’ by Native Americans, because it is the one closest to the autumn equinox, when corn is harvested. This year the equinox occurred on September 23.

Outside from its slightly brighter and larger appearance, this event has little scientific significance. It is mainly a good occasion to watch the moon without a telescope and to take some beautiful pictures.

Did you know?

In French, to say that someone is often distracted or deep in thought, you can say that they are on the Moon: Tu es dans la lune!

Because the word ‘landing’ in French is derived from the word ‘Earth’ (atterrissage), a water landing is called an ‘amerissage’ and a moon landing is called an ‘alunissage’.

Related articles:

Call for astronomy fans to help French scientists with comet tracking

Why some French towns are switching off their street lights at night 

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