Tonight (April 7), the moon will be at its brightest and largest for the whole year during the "Super Pink Moon."
This extraordinary astronomical event is surely not one to miss. Space.com spoke with NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller, the assistant director of science communications at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, about tonight's highly-anticipated skywatching event to get a better idea of what to expect and how people can best observe this special supermoon.
"It's just kind of a fun astronomical thing," Thaller said about tonight's full moon. Supermoons, or full moons that appear bigger than usual, occur because our moon does not orbit in a perfect circle around Earth. Rather, it circles our planet in an elliptical-shaped orbit. This means that sometimes the moon is closer to Earth and sometimes it is farther away, causing it to appear bigger or smaller from our perspective on Earth.
Webcast info: How to watch the 'Super Pink Moon' online tonight!Video:Pink supermoon? Astronomer explains what it is
"Tonight the moon is 17,000 miles [27,000 kilometers] closer than average," Thaller said, adding that not only will the moon look bigger in the sky tonight, it will also be about 30% brighter than the average full moon.
Luckily, because it will be so big, bright and obvious in the sky "it's a very simple and easy thing to observe," Thaller said.
This is good news for people who are self-isolating to "flatten the curve" and reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Even if you are inside, there is a high likelihood that you'll be able to spot the supermoon through a window.
"All you really need is to be able to look to the eastern horizon at sunset," Thaller said, adding that you have a huge window of time to look at the moon as well. "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."
However, despite how easy it will be for people around the world to check out tonight's supermoon, Thaller added that she has a favorite time to watch a full moon moonrise. "Sometimes it just knocks my socks off to see a full moon rising in the sky," she said.
"When you can see it against the horizon, it looks gigantic. It looks like it's coming in for a landing," she added. "To me, that's the best part."
So, whether you're inside looking out a window or out in your backyard at sunset waiting for a "giant" supermoon to beam up over the eastern horizon, make sure that tonight you look up!
Editor's note:If you have an amazing supermoon photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, you can send images and comments in firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Chelsea Gohd on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.
Read the original post:
- Astronomy - Wikipedia - July 5th, 2020
- astronomy | Definition & Facts | Britannica - July 5th, 2020
- What is Astronomy? Definition & History | Space - July 5th, 2020
- Astronomy for Beginners | Night Sky Facts, FAQs ... - July 5th, 2020
- Astronomers Have Located The Centre of The Solar System to Within 100 Metres - ScienceAlert - July 5th, 2020
- First planetary core discovered, astronomers announce - USA TODAY - July 5th, 2020
- AstroDancing With The Stars | astrobites - Astrobites - July 5th, 2020
- How Elon Musk's Starlink satellites may have stifled the best chance to find Planet 9 - CNN - July 5th, 2020
- Astronomers Might Have Seen a Star Just Disappear. Turning Straight to a Black Hole Without a Supernova - Universe Today - July 5th, 2020
- Up close and personal: 10 years in the life of the Sun - Astronomy Magazine - July 5th, 2020
- Space 'fireworks' highlight the violent birth of a star cluster in ALMA, Hubble image - Firstpost - July 5th, 2020
- Exoplanet the Size of Neptune Discovered by Astronomers About 32 Light-Years From Earth - SciTechDaily - July 5th, 2020
- Social Divisions Drive Astronomical COVID-19 Rate In Chile : Goats and Soda - NPR - July 5th, 2020
- How stargazing could save your life | 1843 - The Economist 1843 - July 5th, 2020
- The Sky This Week from June 19 to 26 - Astronomy Magazine - June 22nd, 2020
- Five Jansky Fellows Look to the Future of Radio Astronomy - Newswise - June 22nd, 2020
- Enjoy the sky's great globular - Astronomy Magazine - June 22nd, 2020
- An unprecedented look at the atmosphere of the supergiant star Antares - Astronomy Magazine - June 22nd, 2020
- Explore the world of galaxies - Astronomy Magazine - June 22nd, 2020
- Infinity and Beyon: Episode 1 The Big Bang - Astronomy Magazine - June 22nd, 2020
- Astronomers Estimate There Are 6 Billion Earth-Like Planets in the Milky Way - Universe Today - June 22nd, 2020
- CHIME study involving U of T astronomers finds fast radio bursts repeat 'on the time scale of weeks' - News@UofT - June 22nd, 2020
- 1981: Barbara Williams becomes the first Black woman to get a PhD - Astrobites - June 22nd, 2020
- Astronomers Detect a Fascinating Green Glow in The Atmosphere of Mars - ScienceAlert - June 22nd, 2020
- UI professors mapping the way for the future of plasma physics and fusion energy research - UI The Daily Iowan - June 22nd, 2020
- End of the world: Astronomers break silence over June 21 doomsday - Express.co.uk - June 22nd, 2020
- For Astronomy Buff Sushant Singh Rajput, A Tribute From France's International Space University - NDTV - June 22nd, 2020
- UArizona Offers Free and Discounted Programs to Meet Needs of New Learners - UANews - June 22nd, 2020
- Sun-Like Star Kepler-160 Has Super-Earth in Habitable Zone | Astronomy - Sci-News.com - June 9th, 2020
- Half the matter in the cosmos was missing, but astronomers found it h - Astronomy Magazine - June 9th, 2020
- What has the Juno spacecraft taught us about Jupiter? - Astronomy Magazine - June 9th, 2020
- The Sky This Week from June 5 to 12 - Astronomy Magazine - June 9th, 2020
- The History and Future of Telescopes on the Moon - Astronomy Magazine - June 9th, 2020
- The 1st stars in the universe formed earlier than thought - Space.com - June 9th, 2020
- Astronomers have found a planet like Earth orbiting a star like the sun - MIT Technology Review - June 9th, 2020
- How 'Mars Undergound' sparked a return to the Red Planet - Astronomy Magazine - June 9th, 2020
- Astronomers capture rare cosmic 'Jekyll and Hyde' behaviour in double star system 19,000 light-years away - Folio - University of Alberta - June 9th, 2020
- First Optical Measurements of Milky Ways Fermi Bubbles Probe Their Origin - ERAU News - June 9th, 2020
- A rendezvous between Jupiter, Saturn and the moon lit up the night skies this week - Chron - June 9th, 2020
- Astronomers Pinpoint The Origin of Huge Gas Bubbles Flowing Out of The Milky Way - ScienceAlert - June 9th, 2020
- It's 2020, And Astronomers Have Just Found a New Class of Massive Space Explosions - ScienceAlert - June 9th, 2020
- The Brilliant Astronomer Who Devised New Tactics to Fight Anti-Gay Bias - The New York Times - June 9th, 2020
- Gamma Rays Detected Coming From the Crab Nebula - Universe Today - June 9th, 2020
- The Sky This Week from April 24 to May 1 - Astronomy Magazine - April 26th, 2020
- A century ago, astronomys Great Debate foreshadowed todays view of the universe - Science News - April 26th, 2020
- Hubble watches a suspected exoplanet disappear before its very eyes - Astronomy Magazine - April 26th, 2020
- Four amazing astronomical discoveries from ancient Greece - The Conversation UK - April 26th, 2020
- Astronomers Just Identified 19 More Asteroids They Think Are Interstellar - ScienceAlert - April 26th, 2020
- Astronomers May Have Captured the First Ever Image of Nearby Exoplanet Proxima C - Scientific American - April 26th, 2020
- Travis Scott will launch 'Astronomical' into the Fortnite frontier this week - Space.com - April 26th, 2020
- Astronomy tips: How to photograph the moon, stars, and sky - Los Angeles Times - April 26th, 2020
- Astronomers Took New Pics of 1998 OR2, The Asteroid About to Whoosh Past Earth - ScienceAlert - April 26th, 2020
- Astronomers Detected a Black Hole Merger With Very Different Mass Objects - Universe Today - April 26th, 2020
- Everything You Need to Know to Take up Stargazing - Thrillist - April 26th, 2020
- Astronomers Discover The Science Behind Star Bursts That Light Up The Sky - Scoop.co.nz - April 26th, 2020
- Blowtorch of the Gods Captured by Black Hole Image Makers - The New York Times - April 9th, 2020
- E. Margaret Burbidge, Astronomer Who Blazed Trails on Earth, Dies at 100 - The New York Times - April 9th, 2020
- Astronomers are hoping to see the very first stars and galaxies in the Universe - Universe Today - April 9th, 2020
- Marvel at the universe with the free Northeast Astronomy Forum Virtual Experience today! - Space.com - April 9th, 2020
- Astronomers spot never-before-seen gravitational wave source from binary white dwarf stars - Space.com - April 9th, 2020
- Interview: Jim Lovell relives the successful failure of Apollo 13 - Astronomy Magazine - April 9th, 2020
- See the waning crescent Moon meet the dawn planets, 1516 April 2020 - Astronomy Now Online - April 9th, 2020
- View On Astronomy: Want to see Betelgeuse supernova? You'll have to wait a bit longer - The Independent - April 9th, 2020
- Comets Are Breaking Apart in Our Cosmic Backyard, and Astronomers Are Stoked - Popular Mechanics - April 9th, 2020
- South African Radio Astronomy Observatory Mandated To Manage The Production Of Respiratory Ventilators - Space in Africa - April 9th, 2020
- COVID-19 Forces Earth's Largest Telescopes to Close. But a Few Isolated Astronomers Are Still Watching Over the Cosmos - Discover Magazine - April 9th, 2020
- Supermoon and a meteor shower: 2 astronomical events in April to watch from your backyard - LancasterOnline - April 9th, 2020
- Photos: Venus and the Pleiades prepare to meet | Astronomy Essentials - EarthSky - April 9th, 2020
- The Thirty Meter Telescope: How a volcano in Hawaii became a battleground for astronomy - Space.com - March 26th, 2020
- The Sky This Week from March 20 to 27 - Astronomy Magazine - March 26th, 2020
- Slooh will livestream astronomy lesson for K-12 students during coronavirus outbreak - Space.com - March 26th, 2020
- Astronomers have found the edge of the Milky Way at last - Science News - March 26th, 2020
- Astronomers test string theory using NASA's Chandra X-ray space telescope - Space.com - March 26th, 2020
- We All Live In A Croissant-Shaped Giant Bubble, Say Astronomers - Forbes - March 26th, 2020
- Astronomers Rule Out A Theory Of Everything - Forbes - March 26th, 2020
- How Astronomers Could Sharpen The Image Of A Black Hole - Forbes - March 26th, 2020
- Astrophysicists Perform Test of String Theory | Astronomy - Sci-News.com - March 26th, 2020
- Weekly Round-Up Of Space And Astronomy Opportunities For Africans - Space in Africa - March 26th, 2020
- Astronomy | Definition of Astronomy by Merriam-Webster - March 11th, 2020
- Amateur astronomers help discover incredible teardrop-shaped star - Fox News - March 11th, 2020