Science & Technology

Skygazers, it’s time for a super snow moon tonight

Today’s moon will be the biggest and brightest in 2019 as it will be the closest to Earth’s orbit

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 19 February 2019
Photo: NASA Photo: NASA

Tonight you will see a bigger and brighter full moon. It will be the biggest supermoon of the year.

This moon appears this big because it is closest to the Earth's orbit. Although it will be its closest on February 19, 2019 morning, it will be visible to us Earth dwellers at 9.23 pm. The super moons are substantially brighter than other full moons.

Today's moon will also create higher than usual tides because moon's gravity affects tides. It will be at a distance of 356,846 kilometres.

What is super moon?

Supermoon is a recent term. It was coined in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle, who defined a supermoon as a new or full moon that occurs when the natural satellite is at or near (within 90 per cent of) its closest approach to Earth.

Initially, nobody paid much attention to Nolle's definition. But when the full moon arrived at an exceptionally close perigee (within 203 kms) on March 19, 2011, people believed him.

There will be another supermoon in about a month (March 20), but it won't be as big as this one.

And from then on, each full moon for the next seven months will be farther away than the previous one. Seven full moons later, September 14, 2019 will see a full moon that will be the closest to the lunar apogee — the moon’s most distant point from Earth in its orbit. This means September 2019 will stage the year’s most distant full moon.

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