World looks up to gaze at extra bright ‘supermoon’
SKYGAZERS took to high-rise buildings, tourist landmarks and beaches worldwide to catch a glimpse of the closest “supermoon” to Earth in almost seven decades.
The unusually big and bright moon happens when the Earth’s satellite rock is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee – its closest point to our planet on its monthly ellipsis-shaped orbit.
At a distance of 356,509 kilometres (221,524 miles), this is the closest it has been to Earth since 1948, creating what NASA described as “an extra-supermoon.”
The phenomenon was visible first in Asia, sending astronomy enthusiasts and photographers flocking to the best viewing spots, hoping the chronic pollution that blights many of the region’s cities would not spoil the fun.
Sydney’s eastern Bronte suburb became an unexpected magnet as thousands of people armed with picnic mats and cameras packed its small beach after a Facebook invite went viral.
Loud cheers went up among the crowd as the moon made brief appearances between heavy, gray clouds before disappearing.
Tourists, office workers and couples crowded the Hong Kong waterfront as the supersized moon rose over the skyscrapers of the financial hub, while in the Chinese capital Beijing the moon climbed spectacularly over the city’s skyline.
The supermoon was visible across much of India although residents of New Delhi, the world’s most polluted capital, struggled to see it clearly through the toxic smog that has been shrouding the city in recent weeks.
In Thailand, astrologers were variously predicting the supermoon would bring disaster or great fortune.
The supermoon means a stronger high tide, something that gets surfers giddy with excitement at the prospect of not only riding bigger waves but also doing so at night. –
The moon sets behind people fishing on a pier in Redondo Beach, California, on November 14 during its closest orbit to the Earth since 1948.