The UK will be treated to the biggest supermoon of the year tonight when the Super Pink Moon lights up the night sky.
Supermoons have come to mean special full moons that occur when the moon’s orbit brings it closest to the Earth (its perigee).
In general a supermoon will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than the average moon. The moon isn’t actually that much closer to the earth, it’s just our brain interpreting it as a lot closer.
Astrologer Richard Nolle first defined the term supermoon in 1979 as he explained that the phenomenon ‘is a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90 per cent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.’
In order for a moon to be propelled to supermoon stardom it would have to be 226,000 miles away from the Earth.
And the supermoon that’ll fill the sky this evening and Wednesday morning is set to be the biggest and brightest of the year.
This particular full moon is known as the Pink Moon as it’s the first full moon of spring in the northern hemisphere.
The name derives from a pink flower called phlox subulata that blooms in spring in North America. It doesn’t mean the moon is going to suddenly turn pink tomorrow evening.
How to see the Super Pink Moon this week
Providing the weather is clear, everyone in the UK should get a good view of the supermoon – all you have to do is stick your head out the window and look up. If you want to get really technical, the Super Pink Moon will officially peak at 03.35 on Wednesday morning.
But you’ll be able to get a good view of it from around 20.15 onwards as the sun sets tonight.
If you do miss this evening’s celestial spectacle then don’t worry, you won’t have to wait too long for the next supermoon. It’s occurring on May 7 – and we’ll probably all still be self-isolating by then as well.
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