The Independent

Supermoon 2020: New Moon will be exceptionally large in the sky today - but you probably won't be able to see it

The Independent logo The Independent 17/09/2020 10:12:55 Anthony Cuthbertson
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A supermoon will rise in the skies today, though it will be nearly impossible to see for most people.

The rare celestial event occurs when the moon is at its closest point to Earth during its monthly orbit, however on 17 September it coincides with a new moon.

During this lunar phase, the Sun and the moon line up in such a way that no light is reflected towards Earth and the moon typically rises and sets with the Sun.

With the moon being unusually close to Earth during its new moon phase, the sun's light will be entirely obscured and therefore the moon may appear even darker than usual - offering an opportunity to better view stars and constellations with the naked eye.

The new moon supermoon is the first of three to occur in a row, with the next two set to take place on 16 October and 15 November.

The term supermoon stems from astrology rather than astronomy, with scientists generally preferring to use the term perigee moon.

When the perigee phase coincides with a full moon, it appears bigger and brighter in the night's sky.

The proximity of the moon to the Earth can also have an effect on oceans, with the extra gravitational pull causing extra-high tides in the days following its closest pass.

If this coincides with severe weather events then the high tides can occasionally cause coastal flooding.

The supermoon phase has also been historically associated with catastrophic events like earthquakes and volcano eruptions, though there is yet to be any scientific evidence to support this.

The last full moon that was a supermoon took place on 7 May, and the next one will not take place until 28 March 2021.

Read more

How to take the perfect picture of the supermoon


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17. syyskuuta 2020 13:12:55 Categories: The Independent

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