The Supermoon will arrive for a second time in a row after it appeared during the March 9 Worm Moon. Astronomy enthusiasts are in for an additional treat this time because the Pink Moon will be the biggest Full Moon of the year.
What is a Supermoon?
As the Moon races around our planet, it follows an elliptic orbit.
As a result, the Moon is closer or farther from Earth every single night.
If the Moon happens to approach its perigee or lowest orbital point from Earth during a Full Moon, astronomers refer to the event as a Supermoon.
The opposite, a Micromoon, occurs during a Full Moon at its apogee or highest orbit of Earth.
Astronomer Bruce McClure of EarthSky said: “This April Full Moon showcases the biggest and closest full moon of 2020.”
- NASA news: Astronaut shares stunning picture of Earth at night
When is the Supermoon?
This year, the so-called Pink Moon will peak in brightness in the early morning hours of April 8.
Viewed from the UK, the Full Moon will be fully illuminated by the Sun at about 3.35am BST.
The Moon is expected to reach its lowest orbit at about 7.08pm BST on April 7.
In popular astronomy, a Supermoon occurs during a Full Moon within 90 percent of perigee.
So you will get to enjoy the lunar spectacle on the night of April 7 to April 8.
Watch for the biggest full moon of the year
Bruce McClure, EarthSky.org
The Moon will also appear “plenty full” to the naked eye for about three days centred on the Full Moon.
Mr McClure said: “Watch for the biggest full moon of the year to shine all night long as it beams in the east after sunset April 7, climbs highest up for the night around midnight, and sets in the west around sunrise April 8.”
The next Supermoons will not appear until April 27, 2021, and May 26, 2021.
NASA reveals stunning image of heart of the Milky Way [PICTURES]
How astronauts survive in isolation – what YOU can learn [INSIGHT]
NASA time-lapse: Watch Earth complete a lap around the Sun [VIDEO]
- Space weather forecast: Solar storm to hit Earth this Sunday
What is the meaning behind the Pink Moon’s name?
The Pink Moon goes by many unusual names, such as the Fish Moon, Grass Moon or Egg Moon.
Christians might also know it as the Paschal Moon because it dictates the date of Easter.
But the Moon is called Pink thanks to a type of pink flower that springs around this time of the year.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the flower is Phlox subulata or creeping phlox and is native to eastern North America.
Amy Nieskens of The Old Farmer’s Almanac said: “April’s Full Moon is known as the Full Pink Moon because it heralded the appearance of wild ground phlox or moss pink, one of the first spring flowers.
“It is also known by many other names to herald the coming of spring, including the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon.”
The unusual names are tied to the time-keeping traditions of various Native American tribes.
Moons such as the May Strawberry Moon appeared around the same time wild strawberries were ripe for picking.
Source: Read Full Article