STARGAZERS at Stonehenge and around the world are looking forward to catching a glimpse of the biggest supermoon in nearly 70 years.
Tonight’s supermoon will be particularly large because it is the first time that the full moon has come this close to Earth since 1948.
Make sure you look up to the night’s sky this evening because there will not be another supermoon as big and bright as this one until 2034.
The best time to see Monday’s supermoon in the UK will be at around 4.45pm – but a sighting will depend on the weather.
But the moon will actually be at its closest – 356,509km away – at 11.21am this morning.
NASA said that the biggest and brightest moon for American stargazers will be on Monday morning just before dawn.
A Met Office spokesman said: “Monday evening and overnight Monday night is the best chance to spot it in Europe.”
Although the sky may be cloudy in Wiltshire, he said that there are likely to be cloud breaks.
What is a supermoon?
Ever looked up at the night sky to see a full moon so close you could almost touch it? Well done, you’ve spotted a supermoon.
The impressive sight happens when a full moon is closest to Earth. It orbits our planet in an oval shape so sometimes it comes closer to us than at other times. To us Earth-lings, the moon appears 30 per cent brighter and 14 per cent bigger.
By the way, supermoon is not an astrological term. It’s scientific name is perigee-syzygy, but supermoon is more catchy, and is used by the media to describe our celestial neighbour when it gets up close.
Astrologer Richard Nolle first came up with the term and he defined it as “… a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90 per cent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit”, according to earthsky.org.
How can I see it?
The best time to view it in the UK will be when the sun is setting in the late afternoon. The closer to the horizon it is, the bigger it will appear.
Pick a place with the least light pollution. Paul Thomsett, chairman of the South East Kent Astronomical Society said: “As long as the skies are clear and you have a good view to the south you will have no trouble seeing our nearest celestial neighbour blazing in the night sky.”
Full Moon (SuperMoon) Links Links:
What is a supermoon, when can I see the largest moon in 69 years and will it be cloudy where I live? (Telegraph)
Watch the Moon rise at Stonehenge with local astronomer tour guide (The Stonehenge Guided Tour Company)
‘Supermoon’ viewers to get closest glimpse since 1948 (BBC)
Catch a glimpse of the biggest supermoon for 70 years in the UK TONIGHT (Express)Full Moon Rise at Stonehenge: (Silent Earth Blog)
“Weather permitting it will be visible without the need for a telescope in Wilsthire.”