Science

'Super Snow Moon' to light up nighttime skies this weekend

'Super Snow Moon' to light up nighttime skies this weekend”

This particular super moon has been called the "Snow Moon" or the "Storm Moon" by native Americans, per the Farmer's Almanac, because it coincides with the heaviest snowfalls of the year in most of North America.

When it appears in February, it is traditionally known by many names, including Snow Moon, Storm Moon, and the Magha Purnima. The so-called snow moon will reach its fullest phase at 2:33 a.m.

Last year's February supermoon over London.

This weekend's "Super Snow Moon" will be officially full for observers on the East Coast of the USA on February 9 at 2:33 a.m., according to Space.com, making Saturday night at moonrise the most ideal viewing time.

Visibility also depends on clear weather.

That means it's going to look extra big and bright. As with most full Moons, this one has many names, with the most prominent being the Snow Moon.

But commentators disagree on whether it should be dubbed a "supermoon".

According to CNN, expert Fred Espenak says it does, but another, Richard Nolle, says that will happen on March 9. The moon tonight will appear unusually large but it's still only 362 478 kilometres from Earth.

Full snow moon- NJAM
Is it the"super snow moon" or just a regular full moon? That's up for debate in the astronomy

The full moon is the fourth-largest of 2020, according to EarthSky.

Regardless, it need to make a stunning website for those fortunate adequate to capture a peek with the clouds.

As for astronomers, besides potentially providing an up-close-and-personal view of the moon's surface, the event will correspond with some other interesting things to see in the sky.

If you are an early riser, check out the big moon as its sets in the west-northwestern sky at 7:27 a.m. Sunday, the same part of the sky at 8:06 a.m. Monday or in the western sky at 8:40 a.m. Tuesday.

Those looking skyward on Sunday evening could even spot an asteroid flying past, according to Johnston.

'On Sunday evening, sometime around 8 PM EST (2020-Feb-10 00:49 UTC with 1 hour, 15 minutes uncertainty), Near Earth Object (2020 BK10), between 15 and 34 meters (50 to 112 feet) in diameter, will pass the Earth at 1.9 lunar distances, travelling at 11.45 kilometres per second (25,600 miles per hour)'.

As the moon orbits in an ellipse its closest factor - the perigee - will certainly come really near planet. The Snow moon in February 2019 was 356 846 km away. The scientific term of supermoon is "perigee syzygy".

A "super moon" is a full moon that appears larger because it is almost at its closest point to the Earth.



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