Supermoon 2017: How to see, photograph the majestic ‘Full Cold Moon’ this weekend

Published: Thursday, November 30, 2017 @ 9:35 AM

Different Kinds of Moons

This weekend, stargazers and space junkies everywhere can revel in the celestial wonder of 2017’s first and last visible “supermoon.”

Here’s what you need to know about supermoons and the “Full Cold Moon” this weekend.

The moon rises behind the castle of Almodovar in Cordoba, southern Spain, on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. The Supermoon on November 14, 2016, will be the closest a full moon has been to Earth since January 26, 1948. (AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti)(Miguel Morenatti)

What is a supermoon?

According to NASA, the moniker was coined by an astrologer in 1979 and is often used to describe a full moon happening near or at the time when the moon is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth.

» RELATED: Photos: Supermoon brightens night sky

Supermoons may appear as much as 14 percent closer and 30 percent brighter than the moon on an average night.

In much of the northern hemisphere, the December supermoon is considered a “Full Cold Moon” for the seasonal weather.

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When will this weekend’s supermoon be closest to Earth?

The moon will become totally full at 10:47 a.m. EST on Sunday, Dec. 3 and will rise Sunday evening, around 6 p.m. EST.

It will reach perigee (the closest point in its orbit around Earth) at 3:45 a.m. EST on Monday, Dec. 4.

» RELATED: Dazzling Geminid meteor shower to light up the holiday season: How, when to watch

How far will the moon be from Earth when it reaches perigee?

At perigee, according to Space.com, the moon will be approximately 222,135 miles away from Earth.

How far is the moon normally from Earth?

The moon’s average distance from Earth is approximately 238,000 miles.

» RELATED: See the supermoon shine over Atlanta

When is the best time to see the Dec. 3 supermoon?

In Atlanta, the supermoon rises at approximately 5:57 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, according to timeanddate.com.

To see the supermoon in all its glory, tune in when it reaches perigee around 3:45 a.m. EST.

Moonset will be at approximately 8:17 a.m. Monday.

If you miss the moon at perigee, don’t worry. The large moon will still be around for a few days. It just won’t be a complete full moon.

To see when the supermoon will reach perigree where you live, just plug in your city at timeanddate.com and hit the search button.

Where are the best places to see the supermoon?

Wherever the sky is clear and the moon is visible is an ideal place from which to experience the spectacle. 

But if you’re really up to making an adventure out of it, consider heading to a state park.

» RELATED: Your comprehensive guide to Georgia's state parks

Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okefenokee Swamp is notorious for being one of the best spots in the world for star gazing and is named a gold-tier “International Dark Sky Park.”

You can also make your way to one of the nine best places to see stars around Atlanta.

Any of those spots would make great viewpoints for a supermoon, too. 

» RELATED: Best spots in Cobb to enjoy the supermoon

What is the weather forecast for the Dec. 3 supermoon?

According to Weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce, parts of the southeast coast (including Florida) have the highest odds of clear skies Sunday.

Depending on how quickly a weather system moves through the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, those areas may also have good viewing conditions, he said.

» RELATED: Eerie, awe-inspiring: 5 ways to explore Georgia's new Dark Sky Park

However, Dolce said parts of the central and western states may experience cloud cover.

"It's too early to pinpoint areas that will have the best viewing conditions since it will depend on the evolution of that weather system and how fast it moves east," he said.

Best ways to photograph the Dec. 3 supermoon?

According to National Geographic, seeing the supermoon near the horizon with buildings, trees or mountains for scale will make the moon appear slightly larger in your photos, even though it isn’t.

“Don’t make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself, with no reference to anything,” Bill Ingalls, a senior photographer for NASA, told National Geographic last year. “Instead, think of how to make the image creative—that means tying it into some land-based object. It can be a local landmark or anything to give your photo a sense of place.”

Other photo tips from National Geographic staff photographers:

  • Shoot with the same exposure you would in daylight on Earth.
  • Don’t leave your camera shutter open too long. This will make the moon appear too bright and you won’t be able to photograph lunar detail.
  • If you’re using your smartphone, use your optical lens only. 
  • If you’re using your smartphone, do not use your digital zoom. This will decrease the quality of your photo. Instead, take the photo and zoom or crop later.
  • Use a tripod or a solid surface to keep your phone stabilized.
  • Use your fingers to adjust the light balance and capture the lunar detail.

More from National Geographic.

When was the last supermoon?

The last supermoon was on June 24, but it was technically a new moon.

The last visible supermoon was on Nov. 14, 2016 and it was the “closest” full moon to date of the 21st century, approximately 227,000 miles from Earth at perigee.

» RELATED: Photos: Amazing NASA photos through the years

When is the next visible supermoon?

The next visible supermoon will rise on New Year’s Day: Monday, Jan. 1. At perigee, the moon will be approximately 221,559 miles from Earth.

Learn more about the Dec. 3 supermoon at Space.com.

Boy, 12, dies from flu-like symptoms in Michigan

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 11:34 PM

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 file photo, Ana Martinez, a medical assistant at the Sea Mar Community Health Center, gives a patient a flu shot in Seattle. This year's U.S. flu season got off to an early start, and it's been driven by a nasty type of flu that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths than other common flu bugs. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/AP
FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 file photo, Ana Martinez, a medical assistant at the Sea Mar Community Health Center, gives a patient a flu shot in Seattle. This year's U.S. flu season got off to an early start, and it's been driven by a nasty type of flu that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths than other common flu bugs. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)(Ted S. Warren/AP)

A 12-year-old boy from Michigan who vomited during dinner one night, went to an urgent care facility the next night and had a flu test come back negative tragically died the very next morning.

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Michael Messenger’s family can’t believe how quickly their world was turned upside-down, losing a son and a brother who had been so full of life in just a matter of days.

The timeline of Messenger’s symptoms, evaluation and death has his mother Jessica Decent-Doll urging other parents not to wait if they see signs of flu.

“Don’t wait, it’s all I can say. This flu or whatever is going around this year is unbelievably dangerous,” she told the Times Herald.

Messenger vomited during dinner Jan. 9, was taken to an urgent care the next evening where he was cleared for flu and administered anti-nausea medication and was found unresponsive at home in bed the morning of Jan. 11.

An hour and a half later, he was declared dead at a hospital.

Decent-Doll said her son’s vital signs were deemed normal at the urgent care center and that the family was advised to give him fluids.

By 9:15 a.m. Thursday, it was clear Messenger’s life was in grave danger.

“I ran upstairs, and I sat with him, and I tried to get him to respond to me, but there was no response, nothing,” Decent-Doll said. “It’s indescribable, it really is.”

The grieving mother said that her son had just gotten a flu shot in December and that he “never stopped, ever. He loved science. He loved his family.”

Kristen Ervinck started a GoFundMe to help the grieving family:
"Mikey was so full of life and so energetic he lit up the room with his smile," it read.

The GoFundMe raised more than $12,000 as of Saturday. 
At least 30 children have lost their lives to the disease this flu season.

Michael Messenger's funeral was Thursday. His family is still waiting for the results of his autopsy.

Shutdown nixes Trump visit to Mar-a-Lago; party goes on with son Eric headlining

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 10:49 PM

Despite President Donald Trump deciding not to travel to Palm Beach on Saturday, January 20, 2018 due to the government shutdown, supporters and protesters stood near Mar-a-Lago. (Photo: Palm Beach Post)
Despite President Donald Trump deciding not to travel to Palm Beach on Saturday, January 20, 2018 due to the government shutdown, supporters and protesters stood near Mar-a-Lago. (Photo: Palm Beach Post)

The federal government shutdown led President Donald Trump to cancel plans to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office at a $100,000-per-couple fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday.

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As of Saturday evening, the fundraiser was still set to go on with presidential son Eric Trump and his wife, Lara Trump, and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel as headliners. About 100 donors were expected Saturday night, with their contributions going to the RNC and Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.

Eric and Lara Trump and McDaniel also spoke to about 100 local Republican activists in West Palm Beach on Saturday morning, urging them to work to preserve the GOP’s imperiled majorities in the House and Senate.

“We’re very, very lucky that we have majorities in the House and Senate. I mean, we’re very, very, very lucky. But let’s not take that for granted as a party because honestly, 2018 will be as important as ever,” Eric Trump told the Republican group at the West Palm Beach Marriott. “His great work is hugely, hugely impeded if we lose that and I’m going to fight every single day between now and those elections to make sure that those majorities are stronger than ever.”

President Trump had planned to visit Mar-a-Lago on Friday for the 12th time since taking office. But he remained in Washington as congressional Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a spending agreement to keep the government running past midnight.

After Friday’s cancellation, the White House left open the possibility of a Trump trip to Palm Beach on Saturday. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an advisory for an arrival after 2 p.m. Saturday, but rescinded it by mid-afternoon. The latest FAA notification indicated no presidential travel planned to Palm Beach County this weekend.

“No plans to go to Florida while there is a shutdown,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in an email Saturday morning.

Brian Ballard, the Tallahassee lobbyist who was Florida finance chairman for Trump’s 2016 campaign, came to Palm Beach for Saturday’s event and said he understood the president’s choice to remain in Washington.

“I think it was the right decision. I haven’t talked to anyone that’s down here for the event that doesn’t agree,” Ballard said. “We’ll celebrate the one-year anniversary sometime soon.”

Trump supporters, who regularly gather near Southern Boulevard and Flagler Drive to cheer the president’s motorcade as it passes, showed up in Trump’s absence, numbering about 25 at 1 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s the one-year anniversary of President Trump and the mainstream media is ignoring all of his accomplishments. All they want to talk about is the government shutdown over DACA and illegal immigration,” said Lamarre Notargiacomo of Vero Beach, who held an “Eliminate Sanctuary Cities” sign.

Most Senate Democrats voted against a spending bill to keep the government running for four weeks because the legislation did not address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields from deportation about 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors by their parents.

Another group of Trump supporters gathered a few blocks away near the garishly decorated “Trumpmobile” and other vehicles adorned with pro-Trump messages. That group left for Palm Beach to drive by an anti-Trump demonstration that police said drew 600 to 700 protesters.

Staff writer Chelsea Todaro contributed to this story.

Jim Rodford, bassist for The Kinks, dead at 76

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 7:17 PM

INDIO, CA - APRIL 28:  (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been converted to black and white.) Musician Jim Rodford of The Zombies performs on the Palomino stage during day 1 of 2017 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 28, 2017 in Indio, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)
Frazer Harrison
INDIO, CA - APRIL 28: (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been converted to black and white.) Musician Jim Rodford of The Zombies performs on the Palomino stage during day 1 of 2017 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 28, 2017 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)(Frazer Harrison)

Jim Rodford, bassist for popular rock band The Kinks from 1978 to 1996, has died at 76, according to the band.

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The Kinks, whose hits include “You Really Got Me,” “Lola,” “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” “A Well-Respected Man,” “Victoria” and “Waterloo Sunset,” made the announcement Saturday on its official social media accounts.

“It is with deep sadness that we have learned that Jim Rodford passed away – he toured and recorded with the Kinks for many years and will be greatly missed. He was much loved by all of us #JimRodford,” the band said on Twitter.

Founding member Dave Davies also expressed his sorrow over Rodford’s “sudden loss.”

“I’m devastated Jim’s sudden loss I’m too broken up to put words together it’s such a shock I always thought Jim would live forever in true rock and roll fashion – strange – great friend great musician great man – he was an integral part of the Kinks later years RIP,” he wrote on Twitter.

Although Rodford did not play for the band when they burst onto the scene in the ’60s, he was credited by Davies as being an integral part of “The Kinks” in their later years. Rodford would later return to the band The Zombies.

Florida group raffles off rifle to benefit children's program

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:50 PM

An assault rifle is a prize in a raffle to raise money for programs to help disadvantaged children. (Photo: WFTV.com)
An assault rifle is a prize in a raffle to raise money for programs to help disadvantaged children. (Photo: WFTV.com)

An assault rifle is a prize in a raffle to raise money for programs to help disadvantaged children.

>> Read more trending news

Channel 9 found out that phone calls to buy tickets for the raffle go to three Central Florida county jails.

The flyer advertising the raffle was created by the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency.

It advertises a chance to win an AR-15 rifle. There are phone numbers on the flyer to buy $20 tickets.

Every one of the numbers directs the caller to someone's desk at the Orange, Seminole and Osceola County jails.

Some were perplexed by the offer.

“Probably a good value, but it’s very bizarre and counterintuitive,” said Andrew Shure.

Information on the raffle to win the $1,200 gun was tweeted by the St. Cloud police.

The local Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency chapter said the $6,800 or so raised would be used for community projects, like buying gifts for underprivileged children.

“They could raffle off a car or something other than a gun. That doesn’t make sense to raffle off a gun,” said Laura Stephenson.

Officials in Orange and Seminole counties seemed surprised that calls for information about the AR-15 raffle were going to county jail offices.

There is an asterisk on the flyer that said the winner must comply with applicable laws and background checks.

A member of this organization said that they won't really be handing over a rifle to the winner, but instead a certificate they can use to pick up the gun.