Look on the bright side!
If you look skyward on the evening of April 7, you’ll see the most brilliant supermoon you’ll see all year. This occurs when a full moon is closest to the earth on its orbit — or “perigee-syzygy” if you’re an astronomer. Don’t panic though, it will still be a healthy 221,772 miles away from the earth, so it’s well out of your six-foot radius.
Earlier this year we had the “Super Worm Moon” and this month’s supermoon is called the “Super Pink Moon”. As with all moons, they often have many names, but here, they tend to follow Native American naming traditions, which entails using visible seasonal cues to identify them. The “Pink Moon” moniker is derived from the creeping Phlox, a ubiquitous, pink wildflower that blooms around this time of year.
On Tuesday, we’ll have the biggest and brightest full Moon of the year – called a #supermoon. And we’ll be answering your supermoon questions right here from 1-2 PM ET on Tuesday, April 7. Join us with #AskNASA! pic.twitter.com/RBQaZidLju
— NASA Moon (@NASAMoon) April 5, 2020
NASA recommends moongazing as a way of connecting with the outside world and your surroundings during the self-isolation period — as long as you do it safely, of course. They’ve also promised to answer all your cosmic questions tomorrow, which is a great way to get ahead on any homework you’re helping out with.
So how do you watch the supermoon while you’re stuck inside? Get to your highest east-facing viewpoint for moonrise (7:26 p.m. Tuesday) and west-facing for moonset (7:23 a.m. Wednesday). While it will be in the sky all night, this is when you’ll have skyscrapers and other landmarks on the horizon for scale. It will also have a beautiful golden shimmer. However, it will be at peak illumination at around 12:35 am on Wednesday.
If you miss this one, there’s always the “Super Flower Moon” coming up on May 7.
featured image: Alexis Antonio via Unsplash