In a time when the entire world cannot fully enjoy its freedom, and many of us are stuck at home in isolation, the universe has prepared a natural show for us!
On April 7 and 8, depending on your location, after sunset, you will be able to witness a miracle from the safety of your home- the most beautiful “pink supermoon”!
Apart from it being special on its own, this is one of the best times to view it, as the coronavirus lockdown has contributed to drastically clearer skies and reduced air pollution,
The full supermoon is expected to be the brightest one this year and will reach its peak illumination at 10:35 pm, EDT. It is also known as the Paschal Moon in the Christian calendar and is used to calculate the date for Easter.
However, the Pink Moon will not be pink in color, as it is named after the first spring flowers called Wild Ground Phlox or Moss Phlox (Phlox subulata), which often bloom around April’s full moon. Yet, it will be 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a normal full moon.
This moon has several other names as well, like the Sprouting Grass Moon, Fish Moon, Hare Moon, and Egg Moon. A supermoon happens when the full moon or new moon’s approach is closest to Earth.
This time, it will get as close as 356,907km (221,772 miles) to our planet, compared to the average Moon-Earth distance of 384,400km( 238,855 miles). The term “supermoon” is not an official astronomical term, but a coined one by astrologer Richard Nolle, in 1979.
Nolle defined it as ‘a New or a Full Moon that occurs when the Moon is at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in its orbit’.
Astronomer and EarthSky contributor Bruce McClure wrote:
“Some astronomers complain about the name supermoon. They like to call supermoons hype.
But supermoons aren’t hype. They’re special. Many people now know and use the word supermoon. We notice even some diehards are starting to use it now… No doubt about it. Supermoon is a catchier term than perigean full moon.”
Don’t get discouraged because you’ll only get to see the supermoon from home this time, as you will have a perfect opportunity to watch its rise from any east-facing second-floor or higher, window or balcony at moonrise.
The next supermoon this year will occur soon as well, on May 7, so let’s just hope we will be able to observe that one from outside our homes!