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The BIG Drive Home

3:00 pm 7:00 pm

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‘Pink supermoon’ to light up UK skies this week

Written by on 26 April 2021

A bigger and brighter “pink supermoon” will be seen in the night sky this week, but there’s one catch – the moon won’t actually be pink.

The April full moon is called “pink” due to springtime being when the phlox flower blossoms in vibrant shades of that very colour.

And this year it is also a supermoon, when it’s at its closest point to our planet in orbit – helping this one to look about 14% bigger and 30% brighter.

The phlox comes to flower around the time of the April full moon Image: The phlox comes to flower around the time of the April full moon

Anna Ross, an astronomer from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, said: “The average distance of the moon from the Earth is 384,400km, but the moon will reach its closest point this lunar month on 27 April (this Tuesday) at 4.24pm, when it will be 357,379 km away.

“The exact moment of the full moon closest to this point – so the supermoon – is also on 27 April, but at 4.31am.

“This means that the best times to view this supermoon will be anytime during the night of 27 April – when the moon will rise in the east just before sunset and set in the west around sunrise.”

Ms Ross added: “A supermoon is the result of a full moon occurring when the moon is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit.

“This can happen because the moon orbits the Earth on an elliptical path, rather than a circular one.

“As this means that the moon is a little closer to us, it appears slightly bigger in the sky.”

You won’t have long to wait if you miss this one – the next supermoon will be visible in May.

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