What is a Supermoon? Rare lunar event explained – The Sun

SUPERMOONS are a rare and beautiful lunar phenomenon.

We've got the lowdown on what they're all about and why they're so special.

What is a Supermoon?

It wasn’t until 1979 that Richard Nolle first defined the Supermoon, which is now a widely-used term.

The astrologer explained that the phenomenon is “a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90 per cent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit”.

Based on Nolle’s theory, the moon would have to be around 226,000 miles away from the Earth to be considered "super".

Because of its relatively close proximity to the Earth, the celestial body’s surface appears a lot bigger when a Supermoon occurs.

When is the next Supermoon in 2020?

The next Supermoon is tonight (April 7) and is commonly known as the pink moon, as it coincides with the time of year when spring flower blossoms.

It will occur at approximately 8pm tonight but it's set to be at its fullest around 3.35am on Wednesday, April 8.

What are the effects of a Supermoon?

Even though a full moon is sometimes associated with madness and lunacy, there’s no evidence that it actually has any effect on humans.

Despite this, a Supermoon is believed to have an impact on the Earth’s waters.

When a full moon is closer to our planet, the tide levels are often higher.

While there is no solid scientific evidence, some astrology boffins believe that a supermoon was responsible for tsunamis in Tohuku in 2011 and the Indian Ocean in 2004.

How often does a Supermoon happen?

The scientific event is fairly uncommon, as it can occur around every 14 lunar months or full moons.

During the last such cycle, November 14, 2016, saw the most impressive Supermoon since January 26, 1948.

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