Beautiful: Spectacular supermoon is brightening up skies all week

Full moon will coincide with its closest approach to the Earth

The largest, brightest supermoon of 2020 rose in the night sky on Tuesday over hushed cities in lockdown. It will continue to be visible in Irish skies on Wednesday and Thursday. Video: Reuters

 

A supermoon is visible in Irish skies this week as it makes its closest approach to the Earth.

A full moon occurred at 3.35am on Wednesday and will continue to be visible both in morning and evening skies for the coming days. This week’s moon is know as a supermoon because the full moon coincides with the perigee or its closest approach to Earth. The moon’s orbit of the Earth is slightly elliptical rather than circular, meaning it is closer at certain times.

The moon has been large and almost full already this week and appeared spectacularly large and bright in skies on Tuesday night from about 8.30pm. However, technically speaking, it was not full or a supermoon until early on Wednesday morning.

It will continue large and bright in our skies on Wednesday and Thursday night before gradually appearing smaller and less full.

On Wednesday morning the moon was 356,000 kilometres away from the Earth. At apogee, or furthest point away, it is 405,000 kilometres away.

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Hence the supermoon will be between 12 and 14 per cent bigger than normal.

The forecast over the coming days is for mostly dry weather so there is a good chance of seeing the supermoon in all its glory.

This particular moon is called the pink supermoon as it corresponds with the spring flowering of the moss pink in North America.

The moon before Easter is known in the Christian calendar as the Paschal full moon.

The moveable feast of Easter is held on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox which occurs on March 21st.

On Good Friday morning, April 10th, there will be a conjunction in the morning skies of the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, all of which will be clearly visible to the naked eye.

The three bright planets will appear in a line from the horizon.