Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Get set for 'super snow moon,' the biggest supermoon of the year

The August 2014 Supermoon Get Ready to Gasp! Snow Supermoon Will Create Lunar Spectacle on February 19 Flickr Doug Zwick
Sandra Phillips | 18 February, 2019, 15:25

Attention US-based skywatchers! February 19 will be the ideal day to gaze upon the Earth's lunar satellite, thanks to a not-so-little thing called the Snow Supermoon.

A supermoon phenomenon occurs when a full moon, on its oval-shaped orbit, is at its closest to us, known as perigee, which is about 356,000 kilometres as measured from the centre of the Earth to the centre of the moon.

It is called the snow moon due to typical snowfall during this time of year.

Supermoons occur when the Moon's orbit brings it to the closest point to Earth while the Moon is full.

On Tuesday, Mr Masi said, the Moon will be bigger and brighter than usual but the difference might only at first be evident to seasoned astronomers.

It will be the closest and brightest supermoon of 2019.

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When a full moon appears at perigee, the moon looks brighter and larger than a regular moon, hence the nickname supermoon.

Another Supermoon is expected on March 21, but will not be as large or bright as this one.

And if you are, don't worry, because the next super moon - known as the "full worm moon" - can be seen in the United Kingdom on 21 March, just several hours before the official start of Spring.

The so-called Supermoon will peak in the afternoon hours of Tuesday, February 19, when viewed from the UK. On average, the moon is about 240,000 miles from Earth; the greatest distance the moon gets from Earth - what's known as lunar apogee - is about 253,000 miles. If you are hoping to capture a good "supermoon" photo, catching the moonrise is your best bet.

It is the second supermoon event of the year; the first took place on 21 January. Due to an optical illusion, the moon appears larger to us the closer it is to the horizon.

July 16: A partial lunar eclipse will be visible to people in much of Europe, Asia, and in regions of North and South America as well. An annular solar eclipse is similar to a total solar eclipse, but the moon is too far away to completely obscure the sun.

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