As we all know the usual distance between earth and moon is 384,400 km. But i was thinking how much closer it will be on 14 November 2016, as it will be a supermoon, the brightest and biggest moon in 60 years.


2 Answers 2


From where I am on Vancouver Island, western Canada, it will be around 356,500 km. screenshot


Based on some information from this article


The Nov 14 2016 supermooon's expected peak of full phase is on the morning ov Nov 14 at 8:52 AM EST

According to some quick calculations that I performed using PyEphem

and assuming the moon would be viewed by an observer in NYC at 08:52AM EST

0.00236372323707 AU from observer An AU is 1.5 * 10^km

Edit: I needed a better precision for km to AU


According to this, the AU can be more precisely defined as 149 597 870 700 meters +/- 3 meters

0.00236372323707 * 149 597 870 700 =

353 607 963.19 meters or

~ 353,608 km from earth

here is a quick run through of the inputs I used for the program

>>> moon = ephem.Moon()
>>> nyc = ephem.Observer()
>>> nyc.long, nyc.lat = '-74.0059', '40.7127'
>>> nyc.date = '2016/11/14 08:52:00'
>>> moon.compute(nyc)
>>> print moon.earth_distance


Learn more about PyEphem package here http://rhodesmill.org/pyephem/index.html

Note I'm just an amateur and these calculations might not take in certain critical factors. I'm uncertain if PyEphems earth_distance property calculates distance to the moon or the moon's center.

If it does calculate distance to the center of the moon this number could be about ~1700 km smaller.

Given your figure of 384,400 km average, this would put the moon just under

~30 792 km closer to the earth or about 91.98 % of it's normal distance

  • $\begingroup$ How do you multiply by something with two significant figure precision to get something quoted to 7 significant figures? $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Nov 12, 2016 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ Good point. I need a better figure for KM per AU $\endgroup$ Nov 12, 2016 at 16:11

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