A Super Snow Moon will be visible over Ireland this week

Gwen Vasquez
February 19, 2019

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

When a full moon appears at perigee it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon-and that's where we get a "supermoon".

This happens when a full moon is at its perigee, the point in its orbit when it is closest to Earth.

The moon came up at 4:29 Monday evening and won't set until 7:03 Tuesday morning.

She said the phenomenon is visible to the naked eye and the moon will look bigger and clearer than usual.

The moon will appear 30 percent larger than at its greatest distance from the earth.

But the Supermoon already approached the Earth just after 9am GMT - almost seven hours before the Full Moon peaked.

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"When the full moon is viewed by itself, one will hardly see a difference in the size and brightness", the spokesman added. However, the moon will not be as big as the super snow moon event and will be referred to as the Super Worm Moon.

"For example in autumn you have the harvest moon, this one is being called the snow moon because traditionally there would be snow across the plains of North America".

In early Native American tribes, the phenomenon was known as a 'super snow moon' as February usually sees the heaviest snowfall, (although there's now no snow forecast here in the UK).

'We've got our fingers crossed for good weather, as it plays a part through cloud cover. It'll then be at its fullest at 3.53pm, but again it'll still be light out so won't be at its brightest. The optimum viewing is when the moon rises at sunset, which means you won't have to stay up too late to view it.

"So I think [the hype] is a bit of a mixture between history and people loving the moon and people also wanting an excuse to go and look up at the skies".

The first supermoon of the year was a Super Blood Wolf Moon, when the lunar eclipse took on a reddish colour.

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