April’s Pink supermoon leads in to May’s Blood supermoon

Iain Bennett at Sandy Beach, member of Coffs Harbour Weather Watch Facebook Group


A WHOPPER of a supermoon lit up the night sky on April 27, inspiring the astronomer in us to snap and share across social media.

News Of The Area asked Andrew Jacob, Curator and Astronomer at Sydney Observatory for some juicy facts.

“The Moon’s orbit about Earth is an ellipse with Earth at one of the foci.

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“At one point in its orbit the Moon will be closer than at any other point.

“If that point, called ‘perigee’, coincides with a full (or new) moon it is termed a ‘supermoon’.

“However, the precise definition varies.

“Some say it is a full moon within 24 hours of the Moon being at perigee, others say it is simply whenever a full Moon occurs with the Moon closer to Earth than 360,00km.

“In many cultures each lunar month, or sometimes just the full moon itself, is named.

“Often the names we hear are from Native American culture or traditional American folklore.

“A Pink moon refers to the April moon and is a reference to pink spring flowers that appear in northern America, apparently the Moss Phlox (Phlox subulata).”

Supermoons are not particularly rare, said Andrew.

“There are three to five every year (or more if we include new moons at perigee – but of course we don’t see these).”

“Supermoons have no effect on weather but because the Moon is closer at perigee, it does raise higher tides.”

Don’t miss the Blood supermoon on May 26, said Andrew.

“To an astronomer it will be a Total Lunar Eclipse.”

Visible from anywhere in Australia, look eastwards from 7:45pm AEST to see the Moon darken as it slides into Earth’s shadow.

From 9:09pm to 9:28pm the Moon will be completely within the darkest part of Earth’s shadow and will appear a reddish colour – just what shade of red we will have to wait and see, added Andrew.

Thanks go to Sandy Beach resident, Iain Bennett and to Evol Coutman from Korora for their photos.



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