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Pink supermoon set to brighten Irish night skies

admin | April 25, 2021
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A pink supermoon is set to brighten the night skies over Ireland next week, though there will not be any noticeable difference in colour, as the name might suggest.

The full moon in April is also known as the “pink moon” as it is named after pink flowers, known as phlox, which bloom in the springtime.

The celestial event is expected to take place just before sunset on April 27th as the moon rises in the east and will be visible until it sets in the west the next morning.

It is also a supermoon because the full moon will occur when it is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit.

Anna Ross, an astronomer at the observatory in Greenwich, London, said: “The average distance of the moon from the Earth is 384,400km, but the moon will reach its closest point this lunar month on April 27th at 4.24pm, when it will be 357,379 km away.

“The exact moment of the full moon closest to this point – so the supermoon – is also on April 27th, but at 4.31am.

“This means that the best times to view this supermoon will be anytime during the night of April 27th – when the moon will rise in the east just before sunset and set in the west around sunrise.”

During this time, the Earth’s natural satellite will still appear around 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter.

Ms Ross said: “A supermoon is the result of a full moon occurring when the moon is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit.

“This can happen because the moon orbits the Earth on an elliptical path, rather than a circular one.

“As this means that the moon is a little closer to us, it appears slightly bigger in the sky.”

The next supermoon will be visible in May 2021.

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