The Americans call it "Pink Moon", a name that astronomers do not adopt because they are popular terms, but that is not why the phenomenon that can be observed tonight is less important. This year's Super Full Moon will be the largest of the three scheduled for 2020, being the best occasion to observe it between 7:30 pm and 8:00 pm, depending on where you are in the country.
As the Lisbon Astronomical Observatory (OAA) explains, the most appropriate time to observe this Super Full Moon is at the moment of the Moon's birth, when it appears on the horizon. In practical terms, this means that you should look at the sky at 7:32 pm in Lisbon, in Porto at 7:30 pm, Coimbra at 7:29 pm, In Funchal the observation should be at 8:03 pm and Ponta Delgada at 7:41 pm.
But what is the reason for the large size of the Moon? According to the OAA, the reason is that the Moon reaches the minimum distance from Earth just hours after the Full Moon phase occurs. While the lag between the two moments in March was almost 13 hours, in this case it was only 8h28. In addition, this Tuesday the perigee phase will take place at 6:08 pm, with the full moon phase beginning at 3:35 am this morning. It is estimated that during this phenomenon the Moon approaches at a distance of 356,906 km from Earth.
At a time when social isolation is a reality for a large part of the population, you can also watch Super Lua Cheia on the Internet, with the help of the virtual telescope at the Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory, in Italy. , Lisbon time.
In March, it was between the night of the 9th and the 10th that the Full Moon phase occurred. It is estimated that during this phenomenon the Moon approached a distance of 357,121 km from Earth. Remember some of the previous super full moons in this photo gallery.
Although the perigee is 14% bigger and 30% brighter than when it happens at its peak, the Moon, if observed close to the horizon this Tuesday, looks even bigger, with an extra increase of about 5%. "This last effect is just a typical illusion and disappears when the moon rises in the sky", explains the OAA.
The Full Moon is due to the simultaneous occurrence of the Full Moon phase and the presence of the perilous Moon, that is, the point of its orbit where it is closest to Earth.
Masquem who like astronomy can set another date on the agenda: on the 7th of May they can observe the last Super Full Moon of 2020.