Check out these brilliant photos of the December supermoon

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Clear skies across most of the country made for great viewing conditions, with many would-be astronomers climbing Auckland's volcanos to get the flawless shot as the moon rose over the horizon just before 9pm.

It was especially large and bright because it was its closest distance to Earth, and was the only supermoon in 2017.

With the moon approaching perigee, night sky photographers set out to shoot the big, glowing satellite this weekend. Even more so if it's a supermoon.

An interesting pattern appears when you map out the motion of the moon relative to the Earth (apogee/perigee) and relative to the Sun (lunation or phases like full, new, etc.).

"It's the first time I've seen a supermoon - it was so thrilling".

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First of all, the January 31 supermoon will feature a total lunar eclipse, with totality viewable from western North America across the pacific to Eastern Asia. That means it sometimes swings closer to the Earth than usual - and if that happens to coincide with a full moon, it can produce a huge, bright, white, glowing show.

The Moon will lose its brightness and take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow from the scant sunlight, giving it a reddish hue.

We'll also see two blue moons in 2018.

The next super moon will be on January 1, 2018.