Last night, several countries witnessed the latest supermoon and this one has been referred to as the ‘Super Snow Moon.’ A full moon is when Earth’s satellite is closest in its orbit point, which makes it appear bigger and brighter.
According to NASA, on February 19, the Moon was full only six hours after it reaches the perigee distance of its orbit. This will make it the brightest and largest full Moon of the year.
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For those wondering why the term ‘Snow’ has been added to the Supermoon, this is because full moons in February are referred to Snow moons by Native Americans. The reason is that there is heavy snowfall in North America, so a full moon at this time was referred to as a ‘Super Snow Moon.’ In fact, each month’s full moon has a different name depending on the culture.
Why is it called a Supermoon?
When a full moon coincides with perigee, it is referred to as a Supermoon. Full moons take place once a month, and in this when the whole Moon is being illuminated by the sunlight.
In a Supermoon phenomenon, not only is there a full moon, but the Earth’s satellite is at the closest point in its orbit around the planet. The Moon also appears 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter.
When the Moon is at its farthest point in this ellipse, it is called the apogee, which is about 253,000 miles (405,500 kilometres) from Earth on average. The Moon’s orbit around the Earth has an oval or elliptical shape.