SKYWATCHERS are in for a treat this weekend when the moon is set to put on one of its finest shows.

On Sunday, December 3, the sky will be illuminated by a so-called supermoon.

The phenomenon happens when a full moon or new moon coincides with the moon's closest approach to the Earth.

Its orbit around Earth is not a perfect circle; it is elliptical (oval shaped).

That means the distance between the moon and the Earth varies.

The point on the orbit closest to Earth is called the perigee and the farthest is the apogee. On average the distance it is about 238,000 miles.

Astrologer Richard Nolle first coined the term supermoon in 1979.

He said it was "a new or a full moon that happens when the moon is at or near its closest approach to Earth in its orbit".

A super full moon looks about 7 per cent bigger than average because it is closer to Earth.

When is the best time to see it?

It will be at its brightest at 4.47pm and as it reaches the centre of the night sky it will shine a brilliant white.

There's no need for any kind of binoculars or telescopes to see it.

Will the weather be clear?

While it will be cloudy at times this weekend, at the moment it looks like there should be a good chance of it clearing for long enough for skywatchers to catch a glimpse.