Cold days make for excellent supermoon

Supermoon comes out on Sunday evening.
Supermoon comes out on Sunday evening.

IF YOU are still thawing from the close-to-zero temperatures in Ipswich earlier this week, then rest assured sunny days are ahead and there's a "supermoon" to boot.

Friday marked the shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere, when the sun reached its northern-most point.

While it was hard to notice the winter solstice amid the dreary weather and less than 10.5 hours of daylight, the days will now get longer.

The sun will return from behind the clouds today, rising at 6.38am and setting at 5.02pm. The maximum temperature is expected to reach 19 degrees and will drop to a low of six.

The lack of sunlight will, however, allow people to better enjoy a spectular sight in the evening with the appearance of a "supermoon" on Sunday night.

Not only will it be the "fullest" moon of the year, it will also be the moon's closest encounter with Earth for all of 2013.

President of the Scenic Rim Astronomy Association Matthew Tree said it would be hard for residents to miss the celestial event.

"People will notice the moon will be significantly bigger and brighter," he said.

Mr Tree said astronomers called the event a perigee full moon, describing the moon's closest point to Earth for a given month. The distance between the Earth and moon varies each month between about 357,000 km and 406,000 km.

"This time, when the moon is at its closest, it will also coincide with it being a full moon to make it about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual."

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