Supermoon 2020: Look out for the biggest and brightest Full Worm Moon this moth

The March Full Moon is the second of four Supermoons gracing the night skies this year. The Moon will appear bigger and brighter than usual when it casts its glow on the nightside of Earth.

Here in the UK, the first Supermoon of the year appeared on the morning of Sunday, February 9.

Sometimes known as the Snow Moon, the dazzling spectacle saw the Full Moon approach its closest orbit of Earth.

In popular astronomy, Supermoons only occur when a Full Moon nears or hits its lunar perigee.

Read on below to find out more about what makes a Supermoon super and how you can watch the spectacle yourself.


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When is the Supermoon in March? When is the Full Worm Moon?

The Full Moon will peak next Monday, on the afternoon of March 9.

In the UK, the so-called Worm Moon will reach Full illumination at about 5.47pm GMT.

When the Full Moon peaks, it will be completely illuminated by the Sun.

Look for the Worm Moon in the east-northeast skies where it is expected to rise after 5.35pm GMT.

What is a Supermoon? What makes the Full Moon super?

A Supermoon occurs whenever a Full Moon approaches its closest orbit of Earth.

When a Full Moon appears at perigee it is slightly brighter and larger


The term itself is not scientific, so there are no exact parameters to define when a Full Moon becomes super.

The US space agency NASA said: “The Moon orbits Earth in an ellipse, an oval that brings it closer to and farther from Earth as it goes around.

“The farthest point in this ellipse is called the apogee and is about 253,000 miles – 405,500km – from Earth on average.

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“It’s closest point is the perigee, which is an average distance of 226,000 miles – 363,300km – from Earth.

“When a Full Moon appears at perigee it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular Full Moon – and that’s where we get a ‘Supermoon’.”

According to the US space agency, the term Supermoon was coined in 1979.

A Supermoon is sometimes known as a Perigean Moon or Perigean Full Moon.

But not all Supermoons are equal and some appear closer than others.

NASA said: “Extreme perigees and apogees, or the most distant point in the orbit, happen on a predictable basis.

“Something that’s out of the ordinary: Having a full moon at the same time as an extreme perigee.”

After the Worm Moon vanishes, two more Supermoons will appear this year.

The Supermoons will peak on April 8 and May 7 respectively.

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