The biggest and brightest full moon of the year will rise over the skies of the UK this week, offering the best chance to view a supermoon in .
Tuesday’s supermoon – officially referred to as a perigean full moon – will be the third month in a row for the rare celestial event. It occurs when the full moon is at its closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit.
On 7-8 April, the moon will get as close as 439, (km) 614, miles) to Earth, making it appear bigger and brighter in the night’s sky.
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The time of year means this full moon is known in folklore as the ‘Pink moon’, as it usually coincides with spring flower blossoms.
The best time and date to see April’s supermoon is at moonrise on Tuesday and at moonset on Wednesday, when it is close to the horizon.
This is due to an optical illusion that makes it appear even bigger due to its relative size to buildings and objects on the horizon. The supermoon’s peak illumination will take place just after 6pm GMT on Tuesday, though it may not be visible until after sunset.
The term was first coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in , who defined a supermoon as any full moon that was within per cent of its closest approach.
The coinage and use of the term has been criticized by astronomers, however some welcome it as a way to encourage interest in astronomy.
“Some astronomers complain about the name supermoon. They like to call supermoons hype, ”astronomer and EarthSky contributor Bruce McClure wrote recently.
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