Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Biggest Supermoon of the year tonight

A super snow moon visible over Berlin Germany. Credit PA Images A super snow moon visible over Berlin Germany. Credit PA Images
Sandra Phillips | 20 February, 2019, 01:55

Tonight we will witness the largest full moon of 2019 with the northern hemisphere treated to what has been dubbed a full snow supermoon.

A "supermoon" is when a moon is simultaneously full and at its perigee, the point in its orbit when it is closest to Earth.

Each month's full moon goes by a nickname; some full moons have several alternate names.

For people watching the celestial event in New York City, the Moon will rise at 5:46 p.m. and set at 7:35 a.m. on February 20, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory.

According to Metservice meteorologist Tui McInnes, Auckland, Marlborough, Wellington and Nelson were expected to be the best locations to see the moon.

After the moon rises about 6p.m. Tuesday, if it is visible, it will look a little bigger and brighter than usual.

It is a supermoon, which is a full moon that occurs when the moon is at perigee, or closest orbital point to the Earth, during its monthly orbit. The Moon also appears 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter.

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Zahira Mohd Radzi said the phenomenon occurs when the Moon's position is the closest to the Earth (in its perigee) with a distance of 356,761km.

"Yes, maybe it's not as super as you might have imagined but in my mind, it gets people thinking about the moon and looking at it", Dr Tucker said.

For some viewers, snow will prevent clear views of the snow moon. "The moon is one of the few celestial objects - along with the sun - that hasn't quite been drowned out by rampant and excessive light pollution due to the conversion to bluer LED lamps".

The best time to see the supermoon is right when it rises above the horizon, so just after 8pm.

The supermoon will coincide with the annual Lantern Festival - or Chap Goh Meh - which marks the end of the 15-day Chinese New Year celebrations.

2019 is predicted to see 3 consecutive supermoon's.

This is the second super moon in less than a month after the 'super blood wolf moon' on 21st January.

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