Final supermoon of 2016 rises in Greece

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A bright full moon rose on Wednesday, December 14th behind Greece's most famous monument, the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis Hill, casting its majestic rays through the ancient columns in the third 'supermoon' phenomenon in 2016.

A full moon is known as a supermoon, or perigee full moon, because it can be as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual and at its closest point to our planet as it orbits Earth.

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Final supermoon of 2016

A statue on the roof of Notre-Dame cathedral is silhouetted in front of a supermoon in Paris, France, December 14, 2016.

(REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

IVANOVO REGION, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 13, 2016

Supermoon rises over the town of Zavolzhsk.

(Photo by Vladimir Smirnov\TASS via Getty Images)

A supermoon rises above central London on December 14, 2016. The phenomenon happens when the moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee -- its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

A supermoon rises above the Etihad Stadium, the home ground of English Premier League football team Manchester City, in Manchester, north-east England on December 14, 2016. The phenomenon happens when the moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee -- its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit.

(ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP/Getty Images)

YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 13, 2016

Supermoon rises over the city.  

(Photo by Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images)

A supermoon rises above the Etihad Stadium, the home ground of English Premier League football team Manchester City, in Manchester, north-east England on December 14, 2016. The phenomenon happens when the moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee -- its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit.

(ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The emblem of English Premier League football team Tottenham Hotspur is pictured in front of a Supermoon ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City at White Hart Lane in London, on December 14, 2016. The phenomenon happens when the moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee -- its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit. 

(GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

A supermoon rises on the horizon beyond St. Paul's Cathedral in central London on December 14, 2016. The phenomenon happens when the moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee -- its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

A supermoon rises above St. Paul's Cathedral in central London on December 14, 2016. The phenomenon happens when the moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee -- its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Clouds clear to allow a view of the final full moon of the year, a so-called 'Cold Moon', as it appears behind Christmas lights decorating Marazion on December 13, 2016 in Cornwall, England. The last full moon of the year was also the final supermoon of 2016. The natural phenomenon occurs when the perigee (closest approach by the Moon to Earth) coincides with it being full (completely illuminated by the Sun).

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A supermoon rises on the horizon beyond St. Paul's Cathedral in central London on December 14, 2016. The phenomenon happens when the moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee -- its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Clouds clear to allow a view of the final full moon of the year, a so called 'Cold Moon', as it appears behind Christmas lights decorating Penzance main street on December 13, 2016 in Cornwall, England. The last full moon of the year was also the final supermoon of 2016. The natural phenomenon occurs when the perigee (closest approach by the Moon to Earth) coincides with it being full (completely illuminated by the Sun).

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Clouds clear to allow a view of the final full moon of the year, a so-called 'Cold Moon', as it appears behind Christmas lights decorating Penzance main street on December 13, 2016 in Cornwall, England. The last full moon of the year was also the final supermoon of 2016. The natural phenomenon occurs when the perigee (closest approach by the Moon to Earth) coincides with it being full (completely illuminated by the Sun).

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 13, 2016

Supermoon rises over the city.

(Photo by Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images)

YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 13, 2016

Supermoon rises over the city.

 (Photo by Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images)

Clouds clear to allow a view of the final full moon of the year, a so-called 'Cold Moon', seen from behind a branch of McDonald's near Penzance on December 13, 2016 in Cornwall, England. The last full moon of the year was also the final supermoon of 2016. The natural phenomenon occurs when the perigee (closest approach by the Moon to Earth) coincides with it being full (completely illuminated by the Sun).

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The supermoon is seen rising over St Helens from Billinge Hill, Billinge, Lancashire.

(Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

The last "Supermoon" of 2016 appears in the night sky in the village of St Florence, Tenby, Wales, 14 December, 2016. A Supermoon is when the moon's eliptical orbit around the earth brings it closer than normal and thus it appears bigger and brighter than usual. This year's November Supermoon will not be surpassed in proximity until 2034.

(REBECCA NADEN/Rebecca Naden)

A Supermoon is pictured ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City at White Hart Lane in London, on December 14, 2016. The phenomenon happens when the moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee -- its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit. 

(Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

A gargoyle on the roof of Notre-Dame cathedral is silhouetted in front of a supermoon in Paris, France, December 14, 2016.

(REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

A statue on the roof of Notre-Dame cathedral is silhouetted in front of a supermoon in Paris, France, December 14, 2016.

(REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

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December's supermoon is remarkable as it coincides on the same night as the peak of the Geminid meteor shower but unfortunately for skywatchers that will mean that the bright moonlight will reduce visibility "five to ten fold," according to a statement from NASA, with fewer than a dozen Geminids visible per hour.

The most recent supermoon was in November when the full moon came nearer to Earth than at any time since 1948, according to astronomers. The next time a full moon will come as close to Earth will be on November 25, 2034.


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