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Where you can see tonight’s supermoon


ACROSS Australia tonight people will be flocking to skyscrapers and beaches in the hope of getting a glimpse of the supermoon, which has not been this close to earth since 1948. It’s the only time to see it before 2034 and people are getting their cameras ready to capture the space phenomenon.

The full moon which will light up the night sky is 14 per cent bigger, 30 per cent brighter and about 30,000km closer to earth.

Across Australia the moon will be rising at different times and according to astronomers, it is best to spot it while it is sitting at the horizon, because it will look much larger to the naked eye than it would in the sky.

Once a month we see this space event as the moon orbits the earth, but tonight will be bigger and better mainly because it is a full moon and closer to the earth than usual.

So where are the best vantage points around the country tonight?

NSW

Sorry Sydneysiders, looks like you will miss out on the space phenomenon tonight as cloud cover will block the supermoon.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Sarah Chadwick told news.com.au clouds would move in a more south easterly direction this afternoon and into tonight.

“You might be lucky to get a few breaks in there but the likelihood is it will still be pretty cloudy,” she said.

Cloud could clear early tomorrow morning but Ms Chadwick said that still wouldn’t give keen moon observers a good view as cloud would continue to lurk until the middle of Tuesday.

The moon will rise in Sydney between 7.07pm and 7.36pm.

Those still committed to seeing the moon should head to Bondi and Bronte beaches in Sydney, where tens of thousands of people are expected to flock.

Other east-facing beaches around Sydney like Manly and Coogee will also be the best viewing points.

Those who can’t get to the beach should find a tall building in the city or a hill in more regional areas.

VICTORIA

Melburnians will have more luck seeing the supermoon tonight when it rises in the city about 7.40pm.

While the Bureau of Meteorology still expects some cloud cover, most of it will hopefully clear before this evening’s supermoon.

Astronomical Society of Victoria vice president Perry Vlahos told Fairfax Media people should head to an east-facing beach or a mountain with unobstructed views to the east.

He said a beach on the western side of Port Phillip Bay would be the best spot.

The moon can also be seen from the Williamstown Esplanade and those who head down there should face the city.

The Geelong Advertiser reports Torquay’s front beach would also be worth visiting.

“If people can get down to a beach facing east they may be able to see it,” Astronomical Society of Geelong president David Murton said.

“It will look bigger on the horizon due to refraction and will get smaller as it rises into the sky.”

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Perth will have uninterrupted views of the moon tonight and Reabold Hill at Bold Park, 8km from Perth’s CBD, will be one of the best vantage points.

WeatherZone meteorologist Rob Sharpe told Fairfax Media the evening would be “perfectly clear” and the DNA tower, the highest point of Kings Park on the western edge of Perth’s CBD, will give observers panoramic views of the night sky.

Monument Hill lookout at Buckland Hill and Yokine Hill are also areas to get a good glimpse of the moon, which will rise in the state about 5.20pm.

Fairfax Media said beaches around WA would also provide optimal viewing conditions.

Frenchman Bay, on the eastern shore of the Torndirrup Peninsula, and Peaceful Bay beach, near Walpole, are both recommended, along with Salmon Holes and Two Peoples Bay in Albany, about 430km from Perth.

QUEENSLAND

Gold Coast beaches and Brisbane skyscrapers and mountains will be the best spots to see the moon tonight.

The moon is expected to rise at 5.49pm and astronomers suggest flocking to Brisbane’s highest peak, Mount Coot-Tha, to see the moon.

Queenslanders can also see the supermoon from areas like Shorncliffe, in Brisbane’s north east, and Wynnum, east of the city.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Adelaide Planetarium lecturer Paul Curnow told The Advertiser people across the state would be able to see the supermoon.

“It will be viewable from pretty much everywhere and I’d urge people to get outside and have a look,” he said.

The moon will rise at 7.32pm and people are urged to get away from the city lights and to a dark, high peak to really experience the rare event.

Canon has also organised a photography event at Elder Park, near the rotunda.

People will be given tips and tricks on how to best capture the moon.

NORTHERN TERRITORY

The supermoon might be hard to spot from the state tonight as it will cop cloud cover like Sydney.

Geoff Carr, who leads Star Safaris in Darwin, told ABC the best time to spot the moon would be 6.37pm from areas like Stokes Hill Wharf, Fisherman’s Jetty, Nightcliff Beach and Nightcliff Jetty.

However Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Graeme King said it was looking like storms and cloud could prevent people from seeing the supermoon.

But it’s still worth a look – there will be gaps in the clouds giving people a glimpse.

Those in Alice Springs won’t have any issues when it comes to weather and can expect perfect viewing conditions from Anzac Hill and Mount Gillen.

TASMANIA

Astronomical Society of Tasmania president Steve Harvey said it was also fairly cloudy and raining in Hobart but there is a chance of it clearing before tonight’s moonrise.

“There will be quite a few people out looking for it when it rises in Hobart and the best time to view it will be moonrise,” he told news.com.au.

The moon will rise at 7.18pm and Mr Harvey said anywhere with a view to the east would be a vantage point.

Mount Nelson Signal Station just out of Hobart will also be an optimum spot.

Mr Harvey said the view from Mount Wellington, on the southeast coastal region of Tasmania, would be an impressive view if cloud cleared.

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

To really get an idea of just how big the supermoon is, photograph it next to a tree or other physical object.

NASA photographer Bill Ingalls said don’t make a mistake of photographing the supermoon on its own.

“I’ve certainly done it myself, but everyone will get that shot. 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,” he said in an article on NASA’s website.

Mr Ingalls said people in photographs also worked well.

“I think this would be a lot of fun to do with kids, if nothing else, to just have them witness it (the supermoon) and talk about what’s taking place,” he said.

“There are lots of great photos of people appearing to be holding the moon in their hand and that kind of thing. You can really get creative with it.”

While it’s better to have a camera, Mr Ingalls said you could still snap the moon with your smartphone.

“For me, it would be maddening and frustrating, yet it may be a good challenge, actually. You’re not going to get the moon in your shot, but you can do something more panoramic, including some foreground that’s interesting. Think about being in an urban area where it’s a little bit brighter,” he said.

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