Brilliant ‘flower’ full Moon seen in spectacular pictures as 2020’s last Supermoon lights up the sky

PECTACULAR images show the final Supermoon of 2020 lighting up the sky across the world.

The May full Moon – known as the “Flower Moon” after the spring blooms – is bigger and brighter than normal and is the last Supermoon until April next year.

A couple watched the full Moon rise last night from a park in Kansas City, US
AP:Associated Press
The Flower Moon rising over a sign in LA
Rex Features
The Flower Moon is seen 99% full as it rises behind Victoria Tower on Castle Hill on May 06, 2020 in Huddersfield, England
The Flower Moon rises behind Victoria Tower on Castle Hill in Huddersfield, England
Getty Images – Getty
The full moonshines between two figures on the roof of the Bavarian Parliament in Munch
The full Moon shines between statues on the Bavarian Parliament in Munich, Germany
Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.
The Moon rising above buildings in downtown Kansas City
AP:Associated Press
The full moon lights up the sky in Aydin, Turkey
The full Moon lights up the sky in Aydin, Turkey
Getty Images – Getty
The moon rises behind the London Eye - it is the last supermoon of the year
The last Supermoon of the year rises behind the London Eye
PA:Press Association

Incredible images show the Moon rising across the US, UK, Germany and Turkey.

The celestial event started this evening and lasted until the early hours of Thursday, although the Moon will still look big tonight.

NASA explained on its website: “The next full Moon will be on Thursday morning, May 7, 2020, appearing opposite the Sun (in Earth-based longitude) at 6:45am EDT.”

This equates to 10:45pm GMT for watchers in the UK.

The space agency added: “The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Tuesday evening through Friday morning.”

The flower moon illuminates the sky in Leipzig, Germany
The Flower Moon illuminates the sky in Leipzig, Germany
Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.

This month’s full Moon is called the Flower Moon because it signifies spring.

Nasa explains: “Going by the seasons, as the second full Moon of spring, the Native American tribes of the northeastern United States called this the Flower Moon, as flowers are abundant this time of year in most of these areas.”

Full Moons occur when when the Moon is on the opposite side of Earth to the Sun.

This results in the lunar surface being fully illuminated.

A Supermoon happens when a full Moon reaches the perigee, which is the point in the orbit of the Moon  when it’s closest to the Earth.

The opposite of the perigee is the apogee and when the Moon reaches this point it will look much smaller than usual.

March's full moon will dazzle as it begins to emerge on Wednesday night

Another image captured in Kansas City, US
AP:Associated Press
This image shows the full moon phases every three minutes of 24 minutes in sky in Moscow, Russia
This composite image shows the Moon every three minutes as it moved across the sky in Moscow, Russia
Getty Images – Getty
Londoners wait for the moon rise over Primrose Hill
Londoners wait for the Moon rise over Primrose Hill, UK
PA:Press Association

Greg Brown, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory, said: “The Moon’s orbit around the Earth is not entirely circular, instead a slightly flattened circle or ellipse.

“As such, it is sometimes closer to and sometimes further away from the Earth.

“While definitions vary, a Supermoon typically occurs when a full Moon coincides with the Moon being within the closest 10 per cent of its orbit.”

Dr Brown also said this event would be the third and final Supermoon of this year.

He said: “Because of how the dynamics of orbits work, these usually occur in runs of two or three with longer gaps of several months between each set of Supermoons.”

The next Supermoon will be visible in April 2021.

The flower moon rises behind the German Nuclear power station in Philippsburg
The Flower Moon rises behind the nuclear power station in Philippsburg, Germany
EPA
The flower moon above Canary Wharf in East London
The Flower Moon above Canary Wharf in East London
PA:Press Association
The moon rises over Windsor Castle in Berkshire
The Moon rises over Windsor Castle in Berkshire
PA:Press Association
The flower moon over Tower Bridge in London
The Flower Moon over Tower Bridge in London
Rex Features

Supermoons explained

A Supermoon appears when a full Moon aligns with the point closest to the Earth during its elliptical orbit.

During this time it appears 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual.

It wasn’t until 1979 that Richard Nolle first defined the Supermoon, which is now a widely-used term.

The astrologer explained that the phenomenon is “a new or full Moon which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit”.

Based on Nolle’s theory, the moon would have to be around 226,000 miles away from the Earth to be considered “super”.

Because of its relatively close proximity to the Earth, the celestial body’s surface appears a lot bigger when a Supermoon occurs.

The different types of Moon

 

Here are some of the most interesting Moon phases and when to see them…

A Blue Moon refers to the occasion when a full Moon appears for the second time in the same month, this is very rare and the next Blue Moon should occur on Halloween in 2020.

The Harvest Moon appears around the time of the autumnal equinox when farmers tend to do their main crop harvesting.

A Supermoon appears when it is at its closest point to Earth and therefore at its brightest, the next one will appear in September.

A Blood Moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse, the next one should happen in May 2020.

Each month of the year actually has its own special full moon phenomenon, they are as follows:

 

  • January: Wolf Moon
  • February: Snow Moon
  • March: Worm Moon
  • April: Pink Moon
  • May: Flower Moon
  • June: Strawberry Moon
  • July: Buck Moon
  • August: Sturgeon Moon
  • September: Full Corn Moon
  • October: Hunter’s Moon
  • November: Beaver Moon
  • December: Cold Moon.

 

 

 

 


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