‘Pink’ supermoon visible in Irish skies on Tuesday night

Event which occurs when orbit is closest to Earth can make moon appear 15% larger

The full ‘pink’ supermoon last night. Photograph: Norberto Duarte/AFP via Getty Images

The full ‘pink’ supermoon last night. Photograph: Norberto Duarte/AFP via Getty Images

 

A supermoon will be visible in Irish skies on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, with observers catching the best glimpse as the moon rises.

The event occurs when a full moon coincides with the perigee – when the moon’s orbit is closest to Earth.

Astronomy Ireland is encouraging members of the public to look for the moon as it rises tonight, although it will be visible in places from dusk until dawn.

Although clouds are forecast, the moon should shine through in many parts of Ireland, said David Moore, founder of Astronomy Ireland magazine.

“You are looking for the brightest thing in the sky,” he said.

A supermoon can appear up to 15 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than a normal full moon, Mr Moore said.

Technically this supermoon was at its largest to Irish viewers at 1.30am on Monday, according to Nasa, but Mr Moore said any significant difference over the three-night affair would only be observed by computers.

“To the naked eye this is a fairly slow-moving affair,” he explained, adding that people do not need a telescope to appreciate the event.

April’s supermoon is often referred to as the “Pink Moon”, not because of its colour but because it coincided with the blooming of pink flowers in North America, he said. The name was coined by native Americans, with May’s named the “flower moon” and the most famous, in September, known as the Harvest Moon.

Mr Moore said memberships have doubled at Astronomy Ireland since the pandemic began, as people discover hobbies they can do from their home.

“I have travelled trillions of miles thanks to this hobby – but just from looking . . . I have been doing this for years and I am still seeing new things,” he added.