This weekend's supermoon will be the fourth largest full moon of the year.
Fresh off the beautiful Wolf Moon last month, we'll be treated to yet another cool astronomical wonder. The Snow Moon, named so because of the heavy snowfall in February, will make its appearance on February 9 (hopefully, the weather will cooperate where you are). It will be the first supermoon of the year!
A supermoon occurs when the Earth is closest to the moon's perigee, which is the closest point of its orbit to Earth. This results in a large-appearing moon hanging in the sky to dazzle us all, looking about 16 percent brighter and 5.9 percent to 6.9 percent bigger than an average full moon, as well. This supermoon features a perigee that is 225,234 miles from Earth!
This supermoon is the first of four that will occur in 2020. The other supermoons for 2020 occur March 9, April 8, and May 7, so it will be a wonderful spring for moon gazing. You'll actually be able to see a large moon from Friday to Monday, though it will reach peak fullness at 2:33 a.m. ET on Sunday.
The Snow Moon is also known as the Hunger Moon, due to the lack of food this time of year, or the Storm Moon (still better names than March's Worm Moon or Chaste Moon).
Best viewing of a supermoon is often just after moonrise or just before moonset when the moon is closer to the horizon. That's because when the full moon is low, it looks bigger and brighter than when it travels higher in the sky. This is also the time to get some amazing pictures of the moon, as the conditions are perfect. Supermoons are brighter than most, so that can be harder to take a picture, but keeping your camera stable with a tripod, using a low ISO, and setting a medium aperture in DSLR cameras will likely yield your best results.
Will you be checking out the Snow Moon? Let us know in the comments below.