Stargazers are in luck this month, as the third and final chance to see a supermoon in 2019 will take place on the first night of spring – and it’s set to be quite a sight.
OK, it might not quite feel like it’s spring – last weekend saw a lot of the country covered in snow, but it is officially as of 20 March.
The supermoon will supposedly peak four hours after spring starts, at its brightest and biggest at 1.43am GMT – to be precise.
Might seem like a bit of a late night, but seeing as the next chance you’ll get to see the stunning lunar show will be in 2020, you may as well grab a hot drink and get yourself out there to see it.
Next comes the bit you’ve been waiting for – where I try and explain why a supermoon is, well, super.
Well, the long and short of it is that the moon orbits earth in an oval shape, that brings it closer to and then farther from Earth as it goes around.
On average, the farthest point in this ellipse, called the apogee, is about 253,000 miles from Earth.
The closest point, call the perigee, is 226,000. So when it’s at its closest point, it means – you guessed it – the moon looks bigger, and is called a supermoon.
There have been two supermoons already this year, with the first arrving in January, and named the ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’ because of its deep colour.
The moon got its orange tinge thanks to a total lunar eclipse, whereby the Earth sits directly between the Sun and the Moon.
his prevents direct sunlight from hitting the Moon, resulting in it taking on the unusual bloody complexion.
The most recent supermoon peaked on 19 February – called the ‘Super Snow Moon’, its supposedly 30 percent brighter than others.
Of course, there’s one group of people who have a lot to say about the concept of the supermoon.
Those pesky Flat Earthers are pretty split on the subject of the moon – whether it does actually look bigger or smaller, whether it is in fact called the Moon and of course, whether it exists at all.
Whatever you believe about it, the next chance you have to see a supermoon after this week will be 9 February 2020, so set yourself a reminder.