Tonight’s supermoon — named after a pink wildflower, Phlox subulata — will be the closest full moon of 2020. The moon reaches perigee, or the closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit, at 2:08 p.m. EDT (1808 GMT). At that time, the moon will be 221,905 miles (357,122 kilometers) away from Earth, compared to its average distance of 240,000 miles (384,400 km). The moon will become officially full about 8.5 hours after reaching perigee, at 10:35 p.m. EDT (0235 GMT on April 8).
Supermoons, or full moons that coincide with the moon’s perigee, appear about 7% larger and 15% brighter than the average full moon. However, the difference may not be noticeable to the casual observer. To get a closer view of tonight’s Super Pink Moon — and to learn about the science and history of this special moon-gazing event, two online observatories are offering free webcasts today.
What color would your moon be?
What is your favorite flower?