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Final supermoon of 2023 set to appear in Irish skies on Friday night

Stargazers will be hoping for some clear skies to try and spot the final supermoon of the year which should be visible in Irish skies on Friday and Saturday evening. 

The best night to see the 'Harvest Moon' will be on Friday with the Moon rising from 7.18pm, according to Astronomy Ireland. Saturday night will be "nearly as good" with the Moon rising at 7.31pm. 

A supermoon occurs when a full moon is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit. When this happens, the Moon appears slightly bigger in the sky, and is around 30% brighter.

However, Met Éireann has said that it will be overcast on Friday evening as "cloud will thicken from the south overnight" with rain and drizzle developing in the west and southwest. 

Those hoping to catch a glimpse of the supermoon may have better luck on Saturday with some "clear breaks" in the clouds expected. 

The Harvest Moon is named after the season of gathering as the event happens close to the autumnal equinox which fell on September 23 this year. 

Usually at this time, crops peak in the northern hemisphere and the bright Moon once helped farmers work well into the evening to harvest crops ahead of the first frost.

Astronomy Ireland's David Moore said the Harvest Moon is the fourth and final supermoon of 2023. 

"The best time to watch is at moon rise, which is the same time the sun sets, when a further effect, called 'the moon illusion' kicks in which can make the Moon look even bigger to the human eye/brain combination," he said. 

Check out the Irish Examiner's WEATHER CENTRE for regularly updated short and long range forecasts wherever you are. Rainfall and temperature charts are also available.