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Super Moon: What You Need To Know About Tonight's Giant Moon

Here's how to get the best viewing experience of the rare space event.

14/11/2016 7:15 AM AEDT | Updated 14/11/2016 1:05 PM AEDT
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Henry Romero / Reuters
A supermoon will rise over Australia on Monday night.

It's finally here. The super moon is set to shine down on us on Monday night, and is not expected to roll around again until 2034.

So with the rare astronomical event about to take place, here's a quick guide to making the most of the biggest and brightest moon since 1948.

What's the big fuss about?

A super moon happens when a full moon passes really close to Earth in its monthly orbit. That's because of the elliptical orbit of the moon, which causes the earth and the moon to get extra near once in a while.

Tonight's super moon is extra special because it will be "the closest full moon to date in the 21st century," according to NASA.

What's it going to look like?

Basically, tonight's moon is going to look bigger and brighter than a regular full moon.

According to space.com, in addition to the effect of the moon's orbit, there's also the impact of the so-called "moon illusion", that will make the moon appear extra large as it rises from the horizon.

Experts say the moon could appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than when it is farthest from Earth. However, there's also talk that the difference between the super moon and regular moon can be quite subtle.

Taking a cue from social media, tonight's moon could look pretty cool.

#supermoon #amalficoast #amalfi #amazing #beautiful #italy #anniversarytrip

A photo posted by Erika Sakata (@erika_sssss) on

MOOOON. #supermoon #lunar #moon #skyatnight #lookup #canarywharf #views

A photo posted by James Wintle (@james_is_ready_) on

Getting ready for Supermoon tonight. I just hate clouds. #supermoon #달사진 #슈퍼문

A photo posted by 래현 (@seeparm) on

Best time and place to check it out

Aussie stargazers are going to stay up pretty late to get the best look at the rare phenomenon. The very peak of the effect is actually scheduled for early Tuesday morning, 12:52am (AEDT) to be exact.

The good news is that you won't have to stay up until then to get a good look.

"I'd be looking at the full moon rising on the night of the 14th. It'll be almost full, so close to full that you'll never notice. And I think really you'll get the maximum impression when you look at the moon low on the horizon," the University of Sydney's John O'Byrne recently told HuffPost Australia.

Moonrise tonight in Sydney is 7:07pm, Melbourne 7:40pm and Brisbane 5:51pm. In Perth the moon with rise at 6.33pm and in Adelaide at 7.32pm. There could be bad news for Sydneysiders, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a cloudy night that could obscure the once-in-a-generation spectacle.

The outlook is also not looking great for Melburnians keen to see the rare event.

How to photograph the super moon

Your best shot will likely be when the huge moon is low in the sky.

"If you were very careful about it, you take the same photograph in a month's time or six months' time and you measured it very carefully you would find that it's up to 14 percent bigger in diameter, between biggest and smallest," Associate Professor O'Byrne said.

For photography enthusiasts, try some of these tips to get the best shot.

However, your best bet could be just to soak up the phenomenon without any tech.

"Enjoy it -- you don't need a telescope or binoculars, although they would make it look nice," Australasian Science magazine David Reneke's told the ABC recently.

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