A FULL Super Pink Moon graces our skies TONIGHT – so get your cameras ready.

The lunar spectacle means the Moon will form an unusually giant disc overhead, and will be especially bright.

A Super Moon over London


A Super Moon over LondonCredit: London News Pictures

How to watch the Pink Moon in the UK and US

It’s set to take place on Monday, April 26, and is known as a “Pink” Moon.

Sadly, it won’t actually be pink – the “Pink Moon” is just a traditional name for a Full Moon at this time of year.

Instead, it’ll appear bigger and brighter than a normal Full Moon – with an orange-gold hue. Just pray for clear skies…

The increased size is due to the fact that it’s a Super Moon this month.

A Super Moon is a combination of two different astronomical effects.

It’s when a new or full Moon coincides with a perigee – the Moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit.

A Moon has to come within 90 per cent of its closest approach to Earth to be formally defined as a Super Moon.

That means the Moon needs to come within 224,865 miles of Earth and be a full Moon to boot.

When is the Pink Super Moon 2021 tonight in UK and US?

This year’s Pink Super Moon is taking place on April 26/27.

In the UK, the fullest point will be 4.13am on April 27.

But the Moon will appear large on April 26, April 27 and April 28.

So don’t worry about staying up until 4am – it’ll look great on Monday and Tuesday evenings.

In the US, you’ll see the Moon at its fullest at around 11.32pm EDT on Monday (or 3.31am UTC on Tuesday).

The Moon is expected to appear full-ish right through until the morning of Wednesday, April 28.

If you miss this year’s showing, the Full Pink Moon in 2022 takes place on April 16.

What is a Super Moon?

First, you need a full Moon, which is when the Moon is fully illuminated from Earth’s perspective.

For that to happen, Earth needs to be located between the Sun and the Moon.

That means we’re seeing the entire full face of the Moon lit up by the Sun.

Although the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon, it doesn’t create an eclipse because the Moon’s position relative to our home planet is slightly skewed.

And for a Super Moon, you also need the Moon to be in the correct position in orbit around Earth.

A Super 'Snow' Moon rising last year in the UK


A Super ‘Snow’ Moon rising last year in the UKCredit: SWNS:South West News Service

The Moon has an elliptical orbit, and isn’t always the exact same distance from Earth.

Its closest point is called the perigee, and its farthest is the apogee.

With a full Moon at the perigee, you get a Super Moon.

And with a full Moon at the apogee, you get a Micro Moon.

Super Moons are relatively rare, occurring just three or four times in a single year.

That’s because you need a full Moon to occur alongside close-to-Earth orbital positioning.

The 2021 Super Moons are in April and May, although the March Moon was very large – as the June Moon will also be.

The different types of Moons

Here are some of the most interesting moon phases and when to see them…

Blue Moon refers to the occasion when a full moon appears for the second time in the same month, this is rare and the next Blue Moon should occur in August 2023.

The Harvest Moon appears around the time of the autumnal equinox when farmers tend to do their main crop harvesting.

Super Moon appears when it is at its closest point to Earth and therefore at its brightest, the next one will appear in September.

Blood Moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse, the next one should happen in May 2020.

Each month of the year actually has its own special full moon name, as follows:

  • January: Wolf Moon
  • February: Snow Moon
  • March: Worm Moon
  • April: Pink Moon
  • May: Flower Moon
  • June: Strawberry Moon
  • July: Buck Moon
  • August: Sturgeon Moon
  • September: Full Corn Moon
  • October: Hunter’s Moon
  • November: Beaver Moon
  • December: Cold Moon

Many astronomers stick to a strict definition of what makes a Super Moon, which only considers the closest Full Moons at perigee in a given year.

By this definition, there will be two Super Moons this year: Super Pink Moon on April 27 and Super Flower Moon on May 26 respectively

Thankfully, they’re easier to spot than almost any other astronomical phenomenon.

What is a Super Moon and why does it appear?

In other space news, Nasa has revealed some of its plans for colonising the Moon.

If you’ve ever wanted to see a shooting star you stand a good chance this month.

And, the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed new data about what may be the most powerful cosmic storm in the universe.

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This post first appeared on Thesun.co.uk

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