Excitement is rising as the country prepares to witness the skies being lit up by a supermoon.

It is the closest the full moon has been to earth since 1948, and if you miss it tonight, well you are going to have to wait another 18 years to see one as bright and as big as this one.

There will be another supermoon this year, on December 14, but it will not be as impressive as the one due to grace our skies this evening.

So tonight, it's time to wrap up warm, brave the cold and head outside.

Last night's moon in north London

What is a supermoon?

The sighting of a supermoon occurs when the moon is its closest to Earth.

"The moon’s orbit around Earth is slightly elliptical so sometimes it is closer and sometimes it’s farther away." said American space agency, NASA.

"When the moon is full as it makes its closest pass to Earth it is known as a supermoon."

The moon we will witness tonight will be up to 14% larger than normal and will shine 30% more light onto Earth.

But the term 'supermoon' is relatively new, to astronomers it is known as a 'perigee-syzygy[, which simply means that the moon is at its closest to the Earth, the opposite is a an apogee-syzygy, known more widely as a micromoon.

The moon will be 14 per cent larger than normal. (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

When and how can I see it?

Here in London, the best time for catching a glimpse of the supermoon will be in the very early hours of this evening.

Sunset is at 4.12pm and as the sun sets in the west, the moon will rise in the east, giving the perfect time for seeing the moon at its biggest an brightest.

Advice from astronomers is that specialist equipment is not needed, as people are better off seeing the spectacular event with the naked eye.

A full moon passes behind The Shard skyscraper on September 9, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Will I be able to see it?

Even though the moon is shining much brighter than usual, extensive could across London could make sightings problematic.

For London, the weather forecast is cloudy, the Met Office has said: "Remaining cloudy and breezy overnight with a little patchy light rain in places, mainly during the early part of the night. Most places remaining dry and feeling mild."

And spokesman for the Met Office, Grahame Madge isn't very hopeful though.

"The forecast doesn't look that optimistic for people hoping for a glimpse of the supermoon," he said.

He warned of "extensive cloud, particularly at crucial times" and although he says there could be a break in cloud, the chances of Londoners seeing the supermoon is "much much lower" than those looking into the skies on the east coast.

On the eve of the supermoon, November 13, the cloud was relatively clear and Londoner's took to social media to share their pictures.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BMyCTjZDxWR/embed

Some Londoner's are getting excited at the prospect of seeing the supermoon:

Whilst the spirits of others are dampened by the weather:

So at just past 4pm today, if you are feeling optimistic, why not head outside? You may just be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the biggest and brightest moon for 68 years.

Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.

You can even set it to receive push notifications for all the breaking news in your area.

Available to download from the App Store or Google Play for Android now!