Published: Tue, February 19, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

The truth behind the Super Moon

The truth behind the Super Moon

The so-called Supermoon reached its closest orbit of Earth earlier today but will not be seen until after sunset here in the UK. The Super Snow Moon will ensure that the Moon is bigger and brighter in the night sky.

Astrologer Richard Nolle defined the term back in 1979 as 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". The Moon will reach its peak on the morning of February 19 at 10:54 a.m. EST.

The moon came up at 4:29 Monday evening and won't set until 7:03 Tuesday morning.

Keep your eyes peeled for the supermoon on Tuesday night (Feb 19), when the full moon is expected to be the biggest and brightest this year.

In addition, the impressive full moon will also be a snow moon.

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The moon will be found on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun, meaning its lunar features will be fully-lit. This means September 2019 will stage the year's most distant full moon.

Why? Due to an effect called the Moon Illusion.

This happens when the moon is close to the horizon and there are objects such as trees or buildings within our line of sight, NASA astronomer Mitzi Adams explains.

Other common names for February's full moon are the Bony Moon, Hunger Moon and Little Famine Moon, according to the almanac. Thankfully, you can get an exact moonrise and moonset times for your location by clicking here. You can choose to be an unapproachable elitist snob who poo-poos the whole notion of calling any Moon "super".

"Some believe that a full moon is responsible for their shorter or more disturbed sleep, as well as events such as sleepwalking", Massey University sleep researcher Dr Karyn O'Keeffe said. The full moon names corresponded with seasonal changes. The total lunar eclipse amazed stargazers across the northern hemisphere when the Moon turned a stunning shade of red. This Super Moon makes its appearance not long after the last one, which occurred on January 21.

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