FOUR Supermoons will be gracing the night sky in 2021 – the first two have already happened.
There’s still time to note the dates down in your diary so you don’t miss out on the remaining bright displays this year.
A July Supermoon captured over a Spanish town back in 2014Credit: Reuters
Supermoons occur when a full Moon is at its closest point to Earth.
This means they look very big and bright in the sky and it can be a great time for photographers to capture amazing lunar images.
The first Supermoon of 2021 appeared on March 28.
Supermoons can create amazing photosCredit: AP:Associated Press
The next was visible in the early hours of April 27 and was called a Super Pink Moon, again due to the time of year and not so much the colour of the Moon itself.
Then on May 26 we can expect a Super Flower Moon.
In the USA, the May Super Moon will reach its closest point in the evening of May 25.
The perigee – which is the closest part of the Moon’s orbit – falls at 9.51pm New York time.
But the Full Moon’s true occurrence takes place the day after, at 7.14am New York time on May 26.
In the UK, the Full Flower Moon will occur on May 26 at 11.32pm.
It will be possible to see the Super Moon on May 25 and May 26 in the UK.
The Moon will appear full for around three days, from Monday to Thursday.
The last Supermoon of 2021 will occur on June 24 and will be a Super Strawberry Moon.
Full Moons can have lots of different nicknames and they’re often associated with what farmers would refer to the Moon as at a particular time of year.
Moonrise and Moonset are said to be the best times to view a Supermoon.
What is a Supermoon?
Supermoons look so big because they’re actually closer to Earth than normal
Full Moons occur when the Moon is on the opposite side of Earth to the Sun.
This results in the lunar surface being fully illuminated.
A Supermoon happens when a full Moon reaches the perigee, which is the point in the orbit of the Moon when it’s closest to the Earth.
The opposite of the perigee is the apogee and when the Moon reaches this point it will look much smaller than usual.
Supermoons are said to appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual.
It wasn’t until 1979 that Richard Nolle first defined the Supermoon, which is now a widely-used term.
The astrologer explained that the phenomenon is “a new or full Moon which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit”.
Based on Nolle’s theory, the moon would have to be around 226,000 miles away from the Earth to be considered “super”.
Because of its relatively close proximity to the Earth, the celestial body’s surface appears a lot bigger when a Supermoon occurs.
The different types of moons
Here are some of the most interesting moon phases and when to see them…
A Blue Moon refers to the occasion when a full Moon appears for the second time in the same month, this is very rare.
The Harvest Moon appears around the time of the autumnal equinox when farmers tend to do their main crop harvesting.
A Supermoon appears when it is at its closest point to Earth and therefore at its brightest.
A Blood Moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse.
Each month of the year actually has its own special full moon phenomenon, they are as follows:
- January: Wolf Moon
- February: Snow Moon
- March: Worm Moon
- April: Pink Moon
- May: Flower Moon
- June: Strawberry Moon
- July: Buck Moon
- August: Sturgeon Moon
- September: Full Corn Moon
- October: Hunter’s Moon
- November: Beaver Moon
- December: Cold Moon.
In other space news, Nasa has revealed 2020’s top pictures of Earth that were taken by astronauts on the International Space Station.
Dead alien civilisations could be littered all over our galaxy, according to a new study.
And, Nasa has announced its first team of astronauts that will be heading for the Moon.
Have you ever seen a Supermoon? Let us know in the comments…
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