Need a distraction? Here’s how to enjoy this week’s “super” pink moon

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Doesn’t the last season of this supposedly frenzied reality series cut it for you?

Or maybe you have already finished all these puzzles that you have taken out of the attic.

If so, astronomers say bored self-insulators have an alternative Tuesday evening and Wednesday: a rare lunar spectacle known as the “super” pink moon.

“It’s a great reason to go outside and take a look at the moonrise as it crosses your local neighborhood,” said the professor of physics and astronomy at the university. York, Paul Delaney.

“It will be truly quite majestic. “

The celestial phenomenon is the result of two separate events that will occur close to each other over the next two days.

First, the moon reaches its perigee on Tuesday, which marks its closest distance to Earth during its monthly cycle.

Tuesday’s perigee is also the closest to the moon on Earth in 2020, 356,907 (relatively) meager kilometers, closer than the average distance of 384,400 kilometers.

Second, a full moon will arrive on Wednesday April 8, about eight hours after the point of perigee.

The coincidence of these two events is often called a “super moon,” although some astronomers are reluctant to use the term, which was coined by astrologer Richard Noelle in 1979.

York University professor Paul Delaney said the pink moon does not appear much larger than a typical full moon, but there are other celestial phenomena that are worth examining this week. (Zoom)

Whatever you call it, the result is a slightly larger and brighter orb than the typical full moon, although Delaney notes that the difference is “almost imperceptible to the human eye.”

In another slight disappointment, the moon will not be really pink. The term pink moon refers to any full moon during the month of April, just as a full moon in October is known as a harvest moon.

Stars, planets and the ISS

But before you make fun of what is apparently a not so great, not so rosy moon, Delaney says it is still worth observing the stars this week, assuming you can maintain the recommended physical distance buffer of two meters.

He recommends that people look for the moon soon after it starts to rise, a brief period that results in a “moon illusion”, where the natural satellite appears larger than other places in the sky. .

Delaney says that amateur astronomers can also take advantage of a multitude of celestial phenomena in spring in addition to the moon.

He advises new star observers to check the constellation Orion in the southwest, or Ursa Major (the constellation that contains The Big Dipper), visible directly above. He said that the planet Venus is “brilliantly bright” right now and visible in the west.

“And if you really want to get energetic and stay awake after midnight, around 1 am, 2 am, you have the trio of planets, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter all rising in the east,” added Delaney.

According to NASA, the International Space Station will also be visible in the Greater Toronto Area at 8:34 p.m. Wednesday for two minutes.

The station will be the third brightest object in the sky as it hovers above it, looking like a “fast-moving plane” according to NASA.

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