A Super Snow Moon Is Almost Here, so Set Your Alarms

Silhouette of a man pushing a child on a swing in front of a full moon in Kayseri Turkey

The space agency's website says: "When a full moon appears at perigee [its closest point to Earth] it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon - and that's where we get a "super moon"," adding that the phrase was coined in 1979.

In contrast, when the moon is at its furthest point from the earth it is 405,500km away (253,000 miles).

The combination of the two means a supermoon appears 14% bigger and 30% brighter.

The moon, or supermoon, as it sets over the Martin Luther King Jr.

A supermoon phenomenon occurs when a full moon, on its oval-shaped orbit, is at its closest to us, known as perigee, which is about 356,000 kilometres as measured from the centre of the Earth to the centre of the moon.

In 2011, a hazy red supermoon was seen exceptionally close to the earth - within 126 miles (203km) of its closest possible approach to our planet.

A super blood moon lit up the sky last month.

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The term "snow moon" is the historic name given to the second full moon of winter by certain Native American tribes in the USA, according to NASA.

Back in the day, this time of the year could turn into a pitched battle for survival for anyone who had failed to stockpile enough food for the winter.

Attention US-based skywatchers! February 19 will be the flawless day to gaze upon the Earth's lunar satellite, thanks to a not-so-little thing called the Snow Supermoon.

On Tuesday, full moon will occur in the daytime at 10:54 a.m. EST - a little less than seven hours after reaching perigee. If you are hoping to capture a good "supermoon" photo, catching the moonrise is your best bet. When this coincides with a full moon, it is known as a micromoon.

Following this supermoon there will be one more on 21 March, after which you'll need to wait until early 2020 when the moon is once again closer to earth.

So, if you're looking to see it at night, stargazers can look up at the sky on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evenings where the moon will appear full.



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