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Supermoon: Look out for the last big one of year tonight

IF your dog is howling at the sky, it might not just be the thunder and lightning to blame.

Tuesday night will feature the last supermoon of 2015.

Legend has it that crime soars during the big moon as it brings out the wild in all of us.

Whether that is true, is hard to say, but the police scanner is normally a little busier with weird call outs.

A supermoon is created when the moon is closest to the earth.

Tonight's event is the sixth of the year and comes a month after the rare 'blood moon' one which captured sky gazers and photographers across the globe.

The big moon coincides with a full moon meaning the orb should not only appear brighter but also larger than normal - about 14 percent bigger than normal.

And this evening's supermoon is the last one of the year. We won't see another one like it until November 14, 2016, Business Insider reports.

According to the Time and Date website, on average, the Moon is about 384,500 km from the Earth.

However, because of the elliptical shape of the Moon's orbit, the actual distance varies throughout the year, between 363,396 km at the perigee and 405,504 km at the apogee.

"A variety of factors affect the Moon's distance from Earth,'' the site explains.

 

"The Sun's gravitational force over the Moon, the inclination of the Moon's orbit with respect to the Earth's orbital plane, and the gravitational forces of other celestial objects all affect the shape and size of the Moon's orbit, and the distance of the Moon from the Earth.

According to EarthSky, tonight's full supermoon is known as the Hunter's Moon, as it is the first after the Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox.

The big lunar show is not the only thing scientists are keep an eye on.

Asteroid 2015 TB145 will buzz by the Earth on Halloween night.

Supermoon over Mooloolaba
Supermoon over Mooloolaba

It won't be close enough to wipe out those pesky trick or treaters though.

It will fly at a safe distance slightly further than the moon's orbit on October 31.

The asteroid, which was only discovered earlier this month by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS-1 system, has a width of about 400 metres.


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