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‘Tis the season … for a holiday supermoon

Supermoon
An image of the moon taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is shown in two halves to illustrate the difference between the apparent size of a supermoon (left) and a “micromoon” (right).

Supermoon Sunday is at hand, and although some may scoff, the supermoon concept provides a good excuse to take a close look at a celestial sight we often take for granted.

By some measures, Dec. 3’s full moon is the only supermoon of 2017. The liberal definition would be a full or new moon that’s at or near its closest approach to Earth in its orbit. My definition is stricter: There’s only one supermoon in a given year, reserved for the full moon with the biggest apparent size.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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