Tonight you will be in for a treat if you look to the heavens: the biggest and brightest full moon of the year appears this evening. I know you all have very busy social schedules at the moment, but it’s worth taking time out to watch this rare event. This year the pink supermoon is the brightest moon of the year, and the weather in the UK at least will be perfect for viewing it. Watching this rare lunar event will provide a nice break from the current situation.
What is a Supermoon?
A supermoon is a full moon that coincides with our only natural satellite being within 10% of it’s peregrine (minimum distance to earth). On average the moon is 238,855 miles from the earth. Tonight’s supermoon will be a mere 221,851 miles from us. There are three or four supermoons a year, with 2020 due to have four of them. This will be the third supermoon, with one more due in May.
What is a Pink Supermoon?
Sadly the moon won’t actually be bright pink tonight – now that would be a sight to behold. This moon is commonly known as the pink moon due to the pink moss flowers than are some of the first flowers to appear in spring in North America. It’s also known by names such as fish moon and sprouting grass moon, and is traditionally a sign of spring and Easter; in fact Easter is always celebrated the Sunday after this full moon. Moons have increasingly been called by their Native American names, with some of the most interesting including harvest moon, cold moon and blue moon (no, not the same as the saying).
Tonight’s moons will be 14% larger and up to 30% brighter than an average full moon. The moon will appear largest at moonrise just after sunset, when the moon seen rising above the horizon can give it the optical illusion of making it seem bigger than it really is. The moon will actually be at it’s fullest around 3.35am in the UK- but lets face it all sane people are asleep at that time.
No matter where you are in the Northern Hemisphere, make sure you take the time to see this superb natural phenomenon if you have the chance. Being in lockdown can be trying. Tonight is a good opportunity for us to come together and appreciate a beautiful shared event.
Just make sure you don’t literally come together, social distancing must be maintained at all times! Big Brother has spoken.
If anyone takes some great photos of it be sure to share them with us.