Skywatchers: don’t miss the last super moon of 2020 on May 7

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The last super moon of 2020 will appear in the sky Thursday morning May 7, 2020, in front of the sun (in longitude) at 6:45 am EDT (6:45 pm BJT), according to NASA. The Moon will appear full for about three days at this time, Tuesday evening to Friday morning.

The size of the super moon is up to seven percent larger and 15 percent brighter than a typical full moon. According to Space.com, the full moon measures approximately 31 minutes of arc, or 0.52 degrees wide in the night sky on average, and on May 7, it will have approximately 33 minutes of arc (0.55 degrees). A closed fist can give you the reference because it measures about 10 degrees wide at arm’s length.

Binoculars and telescopes are not specifically required, but these tools can give you a clearer view and more details of the moon. Unlike observing the sun, there is no harm in looking at the moon with our bare eyes.

The supermoon, also known as Flower Moon, Corn Planting Moon, Milk Moon, is named by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. It occurs when the orbit of the moon is closest (perigee) to Earth at the same time that it is full.

For 2020, the four full moons from February to May reach this 90% threshold, with the largest and brightest full moon falling on April 8.

While a super moon is considered less serious and scientific than an eclipse, it represents a chance to encourage people to start looking at the moon. The next super moon will not happen before the end of April 2021.

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