The term “supermoon” is given to full moons in which the moon appears larger and brighter due to its proximity to Earth. In Native American folklore the May full moon is also called the “full flower moon” as it designates the month in which flowers begin to bloom in North America.
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Speaking to PA, astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Greg Brown, said supermoons are six per cent bigger than a normal full moon and occur when the moon is at “the closest 10 per cent of its orbit” in relation to Earth.
HOW TO WATCH THE MAY SUPERMOON
For those of us in the southern hemisphere, the moon will begin to rise at 5.13pm AEST, 5.33pm ACST and 5.41pm AWST. Due to its positioning from the Earth, it will appear the biggest as it rises from the horizon and will reach its highest point between 11pm and 1am on Friday morning.
According to cloud forecasting site Cloud Free Night, Thursday, May 7 will be relatively a clear and cloud-free night meaning Australians will have prime viewing of the supermoon.
For the top viewing conditions, it’s better to be away from light pollution sources like street lamps or city lights and refrain from looking at your phone or other electronic devices. That said, as its name suggest, barring cloud cover, it will be easily visible in the night sky.
The supermoon last occurred this year on March 9 and April 8.
If you miss tonight’s astronomical display, you’ll have to way until next year when supermoons are due on April 26 and May 26.