Monday 14th November: be sure to step outside and look to the skies tonight as we experience the closest full moon to date in the 21st century. NASA astronomers say the ‘extra-supermoon’ is not expected to appear again until November 25, 2034.
2016 is fortunate enough to experience three supermoons. The last supermoon appeared on October 16th. The next supermoon after the 14th of November event will take place on the 14th of December. However, it is the November supermoon that will be the showstopper. NASA says is will become full just two hours after its closest approach to Earth, making it an "extra-super Moon".
The December 14th supermoon will also be remarkable for a different reason. It is due to take place at the same time as the Geminid meteor shower. However, the supermoon will steal the show and wipe out the view of the meteor show as the bright moonlight reduces the visibility of faint meteors five to ten fold. Nevertheless, you may still be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the usually fantastic Geminid shower.
Above: The Supermoon rises above the skyline with the Sydney Opera House in the foreground, providing a spectacular view for all those commuting from the city on September 28, 2015.
The Canon Collective have put together 4 key tips on how best to capture images of tonight's supermoon.
1. Exposure settings: The moon will rise earlier in the evening when there is still plenty of ambient light available. Because the moon’s a moving subject, shoot with a relatively fast shutter speed. As a starting point I’d recommend TV mode and 1/200 if you’re shooting handheld, or 1/50 if you’re using a tripod. If you’re shooting around sunset, an ISO around 400 will also help your camera select a mid-range f-stop for great depth of field. Just remember, the moon is bright, so you may need to underexpose to capture the detail on the moon’s surface.
2. Gear: Grab your lens with the longest focal length – the longer the lens the closer the moon will appear. A tripod and cable release will also help stabilise your kit if you’re using a long lens.
3. Composition: For something different, try to capture the moon while it’s close to the horizon. The lower the moon the greater chance of incorporating a foreground, which will help you create a sense of scale. For something unique, get creative with your composition: perhaps try shooting a silhouette; grab a mate and have them pose in front of the brightly lit the moon; or perhaps try capturing a plane, an iconic building or some trees in front of the moon.
4. Above all, be prepared. Timing can mean the difference between a good and a great photograph. The moon rises quickly, so secure your vantage point and plan your composition a head of time.