Round one was already spectacular and if you missed last night’s full supermoon, need not worry. Another opportunity rises in the eastern sky tonight shortly after sunset.
Hang on a second. A supermoon? What’s that? Glad you asked! The term supermoon is relatively new(er) and is given to full moons when they appear bigger and brighter than usual.
It has to do with the moon’s orbit around Earth. It’s not a perfect circle! Moon’s orbit around us has a point in which it reaches its farthest distance from us (known as apogee) and when it reaches its closest distance to us (known as perigee).
Right now, it’s at the perigee point!
Tonight’s moon will appear about 7% bigger and roughly 15% brighter compared to the “average” size and brightness of a full moon throughout the year, according to EarthSky.org. Here’s a good example of the difference of tonight’s supermoon (perigee, or closest) compared to the ‘micro-moon’ (apogee, or farthest).
The full moon occurred at 10:35 p.m. Eastern, 7:35 p.m. Pacific on Tuesday. While we are just beyond the full moon, it will still appear big and bright this evening just after sunset. This month’s is known as the full pink moon, full grass moon or full egg moon.
Cover picture courtesy Mary Reed Runyon in Hatfield, KY (@maryreedrunyon1 on Twitter)