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Grand finale: Last supermoon of 2014 to appear Monday night


Get your cameras ready, the grand finale of supermoons will be Monday night.

After two impressive supermoons this summer (July and August), the harvest moon will light up the night sky in the last installment of a trio of supermoons for the Northern Hemisphere this year.

A break in the clouds is expected, which should give a nice view of the closer and brighter-than-average full moon, Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' Updraft blog. If the sky doesn't clear up in your area, is streaming the supermoon live online. Watch it here – the broadcast starts at 8:30 p.m.

The moon is expected to rise at 7:16 p.m. in the Twin Cities, Huttner says, and the moon will reach its full phase when it moves opposite from the sun, which will be about 8:38 p.m. in Minnesota, says.

Supermoons, which scientists call perigee moons, can appear 30 percent brighter and up to 14 percent larger than typical full moons, NASA says, but sometimes the size difference can be hard to detect.

According to NASA:

Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the moon's orbit. The moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee"). Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem extra big and bright.

Not only will Monday's moon appear bigger and brighter, but it's also a harvest moon – the closest full moon to this year's autumnal equinox, which falls on Sept. 22.

The harvest moon is special because around the autumnal equinox, the time between one moon rise to the next is shorter than usual, says. In the days before electricity, the harvest moon lit up fields which allowed farmers to tend to their crops later into the night, ABC News notes.

Lots of folks post photos of the supermoon on their social media pages, and you can find some tips for getting the best pictures here.

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