December supermoon dazzles in the night sky

In pictures: Supermoon 2017

The moon's orbit around our planet is tilted so it usually falls above or below the shadow of the earth.

The 1st supermoon which occurred on Sunday was part of a trilogy of supermoons and it will reappear on January 1 and January 31 next year, NASA said.

When the moon is at its closest to the Earth, it appears 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than usual.

Sunday night at its perigee, the moon will be nearly 50,000 kilometers closer than at its apogee, or farthest point.

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That night will also feature a lunar eclipse, when the moon, earth and sun all line up. This causes it to appear slightly larger and brighter than normal. The Dec. 3 full moon is the first of three consecutive supermoons.

A supermoon rises in front of a replica of the Statue of Liberty sitting atop the Liberty Building in downtown Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. This is because the previous two were around the time of a new moon, which isn't visible in the sky.

The only so-called supermoon of 2017 was shining bright over the Borders as it set this morning, December 4. Photo / Getty Images Image 6 of 11: The Highlands Ranch iconic windmill is illuminated by the first (and last) "supermoon" of 2017 on December 3, 2017 in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Icerink opened for skating at full moon.

The second will occur on January 31. A Blue supermoon is said to occur when two full moons occur in the same month.

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