Published Dec 03, 2017 07:06am

Astronomy buffs looking heavenward at supermoon

Shazia Hasan

KARACHI: It is not like a lunar or solar eclipse that is visible only from some part of the world. The supermoon was visible all across the globe, including Pakistan, on Saturday and can be spotted today (Sunday) as well.

Anyone who looks up at the evening sky will not miss the sight of the full moon that bright and big, being the only supermoon of the year.

“The supermoon is always a full moon but it is also when the moon track is closest to the sun,” the director of the regional meteorological centre in Karachi, Shahid Abbas, told Dawn on Saturday.

“When the Earth is near the sun, the moon is also near. And since the moon has no light of its own, the sun’s rays fall on its [the moon’s] surface from a closer angle, which is visible after nightfall,” he said.

Abubaker Shekhani, an astronomy enthusiast and founding member of the Karachi Astronomers Society, said that this year’s supermoon was not as great in size as the November supermoon of last year.

“Still, it is a good sight as the moon is bigger in size than usual due to its distance from the Earth,” he said.

“This supermoon is also called ‘full cold moon’ beca­use it is a December full moon and it is winter in the northern hemisphere… there­fore the name,” he explained, adding that it was the closest that the moon had gotten to Earth in 2017.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2017

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