Full moon supermoon to appear on Sunday

Getty Images | Tom Pennington

The first - and final - supermoon of 2017 will brighten the sky Sunday evening around 8 p.m. and reach its perigee at 3:45 a.m. Monday. Why are they so rare?

This Sunday, Idahoans will be treated to a bigger, brighter moon in the evening sky. "Supermoon" is a popular term that has become more common in recent years, referring to a full moon that occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit.

The moonrise will appear at similar times across the United Kingdom, with just a few minute differences from the north to the south. The orbit of the moon is an elliptical; there are times in the moon's orbit where it is closer to the Earth, and other times when it is farther away.

When the supermoon is at its most noticeable, it can be up to 14% closer to us than when it's at apogee - the farthest distance from Earth it gets. During the full moon on Sunday, the moon will be 222,443 miles from Earth.

A supermoon can only occur at during a special time called perigee-syzygy.

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It takes the Moon just slightly over 27 days to fully orbit the Earth, and during this time the natural satellite reaches both its apogee and perigee. This is rare because as the Earth revolves around the sun, the moon's orientation to Earth stays mostly the same.

But although the moon is the biggest and closest it can be to us, don't expect too much. If you've ever been driving and been caught off guard by a giant rising moon right after sunset, then you know that this is when a full moon looks the most dramatic.

When the supermoon is viewed low on the horizon, it appears huge.

The supermoon phenomenon will happen only once this year, but last year it occurred three months in a row, October, November and December. The moon will look bigger when it is near the horizon and framed with a building or object on the foreground.

If you're dreading the beginning of Mercury Retrograde Dec. 3, you can counteract the smallest planet's bad mojo by setting your intentions under December's supermoon, which is happening the same day.

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