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This is how to see the largest 'pink' supermoon of the year
In this file photo, an almost full moon is seen through the clouds over Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
TORONTO -- Those who are longing for a reminder that the world is larger than the confines of their house or apartment will be getting a treat for the eyes this week, when the largest supermoon of the year is visible overhead.
According to NASA, the full moon will be closest to Earth shortly after 10:30 p.m. (EDT) on April 7.
That night is when the moon will be at its perigee -- a term for the point in the moon’s orbit where it gets the closest it can to Earth, making it appear bigger and brighter in the sky -- but the moon will still appear large for days before and after.
When the supermoon rises this week, it will be “only 356,907 km from us, much closer than its average distance of ~384,000 km,” according to York University astronomy and physics professor Paul Delaney.
Delaney says the April supermoon is referred to as a “pink” moon because of pink wildflowers which bloom in the spring.
“Every full moon of the year is “named”,” he told CTVNews.ca over email. “The naming arises from the local Indigenous people or has been adopted from the local seasonal activities.”
Some fall moons are named for harvest seasons, for example.
Despite the name, the pink supermoon won’t appear in rosy shades in the sky, said a statement from York University.
The moon will be full only on Tuesday night, but will be large enough on Monday and Wednesday to still merit a look, Delaney said.
“Any of those (three) days the moon will be dazzling, rising around sunset,” he said. “Grab binoculars and enjoy the view and have a look at Venus on the other side of the sky while you are outside.”
It won’t be the only unusual sight in the sky, depending on where you live. Those in Toronto, Burlington, Pickering and the GTA will be able to see the International Space Station pass overhead on Monday and Wednesday. Just look for a bright, moving point in the night sky!
There are numerous supermoons every year, but this April marks the largest supermoon set to occur in 2020.
A full moon is given the nickname of “supermoon” when it is at 90 per cent of perigee. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, a supermoon is approximately 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than the moon appears when it is farthest away from the Earth.
If you miss this one, don’t worry! There is another supermoon expected for May, although it won’t be quite as large.