Pink Moon 2020: NASA welcomes the Pink Supermoon – ‘Most super’ Full Moon this year

The Pink Moon is the second Supermoon in a row to grace our night skies after the Full Worm Moon on March 9. The Moon’s elliptic orbit will bring it closer to our planet than at any other point this year.

And because the Sun will fully illuminate the Moon on Wednesday morning, we will get to see a Supermoon tonight.

NASA lunar scientist Sarah Noble said: “One thing I’ve been doing lately is staring at the Moon and it’s the perfect time.

“April 7 is a Full Moon and this Full Moon just happens to be a Supermoon.

“What does that mean? Well, the Moon’s orbit around the Earth isn’t quite a perfect circle, it’s a little bit of an ellipse, which means sometimes the Moon is a little bit closer to us and sometimes it’s a little bit further away.


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“And when a Full Moon happens while the Moon is close to us at perigee, some folks call that a Supermoon, which just means that because it’s closer to us it will look a little bit bigger and a little bit brighter in the sky than when it’s further away.

“But don’t worry, it’s still more than six feet so you can safely have a playdate.”

The term Supermoon is not an astronomical one and is loosely defined by astronomers.

Typically, it refers to a Full Moon that peaks within 90 percent of lunar perigee.

Perigee in astronomy is the lowest orbital height of the Moon or satellite orbiting Earth.

The opposite of perigee is the apogee, and if a Full Moon peaks near apogee we witness a smaller Micromoon.

This will be the ‘most super’ of the Full Supermoons this year

Gordon Johnton, NASA

NASA’s Gordon Johnston said: “The term Supermoon was coined by the astrologer Richard Noelle in 1979 and refers to either a New Moon or Full Moon that occurs within 90 percent of perigee, its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.

“Under this definition, in a typical year there can be three or four full Supermoons in a row and – about half a year apart- three or four new Supermoons in a row.

“In practice, what catches the public’s attention are the Full Moons that appear biggest and brightest each year.”

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This year, Mr Johnston said all four Full Moons between February and March fit the bill of a Supermoon.

He said: “This Full Moon will be slightly closer to the Earth – about 0.1 percent – than the March Full Moon was, so this will be the ‘most super’ of the Full Supermoons this year.”

But the Supermoon is not the only event worth looking out for tonight.

According to NASA, the planet Venus will be visible from about twilight.

The second planet from the Sun is the third brightest object in our skies after the Sun and the Moon.

To the untrained eye, Venus simply looks like an exceptionally bright star.

Mr Johnston said: “Venus will reach its greatest brilliancy – a geometric approximation of its greatest brightness – on April 28, 2020.

“When Venus is near its brightest, if the weather is clear and you know where to look, Venus can be seen during the day.”

When viewed from London, UK, look just above the horizon in the western skies. Venus will appear next to the Pleiades star cluster.

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