Supermoon: What is it and when can you see it in Europe?

Muriel Hammond
February 20, 2019

The phenomenon will see the moon come closest to the Earth during its monthly elliptical orbit, and as a result will appear much bigger and brighter than normal.

Commonly known as a supermoon, the fantastic phenomenon occurs when the full moon reaches the point in its orbit that is closest to the Earth, which makes it appear much larger and brighter than usual. It will also look huge - due to how close it is to earth.

As the first full moon of February, this supermoon is known as a snow moon, based on the typical cold, snowy weather in North America.

The supermoon will reach its peak Tuesday morning at 10:54 a.m., but it won't be visible to our area then.

The handsome moon will reach its closest point to the earth at 9.06am in the United Kingdom, and will be at its fullest at 3.53pm.

According to Metservice meteorologist Tui McInnes, Auckland, Marlborough, Wellington and Nelson were expected to be the best locations to see the moon.

The moon on Tuesday will be the closest to Earth during its full phase until the full moon of December 2026.

In January, we were treated to the super blood wolf moon, which had a remarkable red tinge. The sight of a full moon rising over the ocean is one of the finest there is, so I encourage you to catch it if you can.

It'll appear especially large just as it rises above the horizon thanks to "moon illusion" where the brain thinks the moon is bigger than it really is given its location.

The best places to see it include locations such as East Coast Park and Labrador Park, which have a clear view of the eastern horizon.

The term "snow moon" refers to a full moon occurring during the month of February.

On Tuesday 19 February the world will be treated to a stunning full moon.

February's supermoon is part of a trio of supermoons taking the celestial stage at the start of 2019.

"The Moon will look extremely large when it rises and sets", NASA astronomer Mitzi Adams wrote in a blog for NASA on Friday.

Here's what astrophysicist and research fellow at the Australian National University Brad Tucker said about our obsession with the next big supermoon.

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