Tonight is the biggest supermoon of 2020, but when’s the best time to see it? The moon will reach peak illumination at 10:35 p.m. ET on April 7.
If you miss the supermoon Tuesday night, it will appear nearly 100% on Wednesday night, as well. Thursday night, it will appear 97% full. On the West Coast, clouds are expected to obscure the view in coastal regions.
“All you really need is to be able to look to the eastern horizon at sunset. The wonderful thing about a full moon is that full moons are up all night long, they rise at sunset then they cross over the sky and set at sunrise, so at any point in the night you can go outside and actually see this wonderful big, bright moon,” NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller tells Space.com.
Astronomers suggest looking for the moon at moonrise or moonset. It is slated to rise in the east in New York City around 7:05 p.m. and will set in the western sky at 7:38 a.m.
This supermoon will be the biggest and brightest of 2020, and will appear up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than full moons that are farthest away from Earth, according to the Washington Post. It is .1% closer to Earth than the March full moon was.
You don’t need a telescope or any equipment to see the moon.
What Is a Supermoon?
A supermoon– a term coined by astrologer Richard Noelle in 1979– is a new or full moon that coincides with the moon’s closest point to Earth. It has to come within 90% of its closest approach to Earth to be deemed a supermoon, according to Earth Sky.
And despite its nickname, those stepping out to view the moon shouldn’t expect it to look pink– the moon is called the pink moon because it has the “appearance of moss pink”, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
This year, there will be 13 full moons instead of the usual 12– two will occur in October. The next will occur on May 7.
Jackie Faherty, a senior scientist at the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Astrophysics, tells USA Today, “When all feels troubled on the planet, looking up invokes a sense of wonder and promise. A simple event such as a full moon that reminds people to look to the sky can be just the escape that most people need right now.”
Faherty added, “We know that the stars do not capture any secrets about humans. But I’d love people to remember the super pink moon as something that brought their eyes to the cosmos and invoked a sense of hope during this time.”
When Is the Next Eclipse?
When will the next solar eclipse take place over North America?
The next total solar eclipse over North America will take place in 2024.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, obscuring the sun.