Super Flower Moon 2020: Here’s all you need to know about the last supermoon of the year
Super Flower Moon is the last in a series of four supermoons in 2020. The full moon in May is known as the Flower Moon.Updated: May 08, 2020, 08:50 IST
Super Flower Moon is the last in a series of four supermoons in 2020. The full moon in May is known as the Flower Moon. Since this full moon is also a supermoon, it is being referred to as the Super Flower Moon. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the Full Moon of May is called Flower Moon because, in most areas, flowers are abundant at this time of the year. It is also called Full Corn Planting Moon as well as the Milk Moon.
“Supermoon”, the term, was coined by the astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. It refers to either a new or full moon that occurs within 90 per cent of perigee — or when it is closest to the Earth in its orbit. Since the moon has been at perigee for the last three months, this is the final supermoon appearance in 2020. In other words, when the Full Moon or the New Moon occurs during the Moon’s closest approach to the Earth, it is termed as the Super Moon.
The full moon arrives just 32 hours after the moon reached perigee or the closest approach to Earth in its orbit. That makes this a “supermoon,” according to NASA.
According to space.com, “You will see a very subtle difference in the moon’s size, as supermoons appear up to 7% larger and 15% brighter than the usual full moon. On May 7, the supermoon will be about 33 arc minutes (0.55 degrees) across, compared to the usual 31 arc minutes (0.52 degrees).”
The Super Flower Moon or full moon corresponds with Vesak or Buddha Purnima today. This day commemorates the birth, enlightenment and the death of Gautama Buddha. “The actual date of Vesak varies depending upon the calendar in use in the particular country or region, but this year for most areas it falls on or near the day of this full Moon,” NASA notes. The Super Flower Moon will be seen from 6.45 AM EDT (4.15 PM IST) onwards and according to NASA, the full supermoon will appear from Thursday evening till Friday morning.
The first supermoon of 2020 appeared in February, followed by one between March 9 and March 11. The Super Flower Moon is the last supermoon of the year 2020. There can be three or four full supermoons in a row and three or four new supermoons in a row. For 2020, the four full moons from February through May meet this 90 per cent threshold, NASA said.
The next supermoon will occur in 2021 on April 27, 2021, followed by another one on May 26, 2021. Supermoons are viewable from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.