With everything happening, don't forget to view this month's Supermoon--it's the last one for the year. May's so-called "Flower Moon" will peak on early Thursday morning, April 7, but will appear complete for the remainder of the week.
(Photo : Pixabay)
This month's Full Moon is traditionally referred to as the "Flower Moon," "Corn Planting Moon," or the "Milking Moon." But the Moon will also be "super" this week, which means astronomers expect it to be bigger and brighter than average. Although the term Supermoon is not scientific, the event is famous and always draws in crowds of stargazers.
What is a supermoon?
Supermoons are loosely described as Full Moons inside 90% of the lunar perigee--that is the Moon's lowest orbit of Earth. Because the Moon follows an elliptic course around the planet, every night, it's miles nearer or further from Earth.
According to NASA, the term Supermoon was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. During a Supermoon, the lunar orb may look up to 30% brighter and 14% larger than usual. NASA's Gordon Johnston said, "For 2020, the four full Moons from February through May meet this 90% threshold."
The "Flower Moon" is the remaining in a chain of 4 supermoons in short succession this year. The others occurred in February, March, and April.
A supermoon takes place while a moon is both complete and closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit at the equal time, consistent with NASA. This phenomenon makes the total Moon seem "slightly" brighter and significant than usual.
When is the next Supermoon?
The next time the Supermoon passes near to Earth while in its full phase is on April 27, 2021. It will create a "Super Pink Moon."
The final Supermoon of 2020 will attain its height at 6:45 am ET on Thursday, April 7, giving early risers the best view, according to NASA. The Moon will appear full from Tuesday night until Friday morning, so there can be lots of opportunities to get a glimpse.
"The Moon appears full to the eye for two to three nights," astronomer Deborah Byrd of EarthSky.org said. "However, astronomers regard the moon as full at a precisely defined instant, when the Moon is exactly 180-degrees opposite the sun in ecliptic longitude."
How to watch the Supermoon?
The Moon will function relatively low on the horizon, heading in a west-southwest direction. Eagle-eyed astronomers will note a brilliant megastar up and to the left of the Moon--that would be the gas giant Jupiter.
You will also have a hazard to observe the Supermoon online and from the comfort of your home. Courtesy of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, the spectacle will be broadcast online, free of charge.
The YouTube streaming will start at (6:30 p.m. UTC) on May 7. "The Supermoon is back for the fourth and last time this year, to celebrate the Flower Full Moon," Astrophysicist Gianluca Masi said.
The Virtual Telescope Project, according to Masi, will bring Supermoon closer to stargazers while it rises and shines above the legendary skyline of Rome. The Supermoon will also be streaming the event online by the robotic telescope service Slooh on May 7 (11 p.m. UTC on May 6).