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By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
May 07, 2020
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A Supermoon Will Be Visible in Australia and New Zealand Tonight

Head out to your backyard or balcony and look up.
By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
May 07, 2020
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It's been a busy couple of months of stargazing, with both the Lyrid and Eta Aquarids Meteor Showers lighting up our skies. Tonight, Thursday, May 7, there's another reason to look up, too: a supermoon. The last in a series of four supermoons in 2020, according to NASA, this one is called a flower moon.

If you're more familiar with The Mighty Boosh's take on the moon than actual lunar terms, here's what you need to know: a supermoon is a new moon or full moon that occurs when the moon reaches the closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit. They're not uncommon; three have taken place since February. But, now, it feels especially nice to have something luminous to look out (outside of our apartments).

The flower moon is named after the flowers that are usually abundant this time of year in the US, where it's currently spring. Closer to home, this supermoon corresponds with Vesak, a Buddhist holiday marking the birth, enlightenment and passing of Buddha.

Do you have a lot of nicknames? Tomorrow morning’s full moon is known as the Flower Moon, Corn Planting Moon, Milk Moon,...

Posted by NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Wednesday, 6 May 2020

If you're keen to see it, you'll want to catch the full moon when it's most illuminated, which happens when it's opposite the sun (a term called syzygy). According to timeanddate.com, this will happen at 8.45pm AEST and 10.45pm NZST.

Have your cameras at the ready, obviously — and see if you can outdo the last big batch of supermoon snaps.

Usually, when a supermoon lights up the sky, we'd advise city-dwellers to get as far away from light pollution as possible to get the best view. That's not possible given the current COVID-19 restrictions in place, so you'd best take a gander from your backyard or balcony. If you can't get a clear view, The Virtual Telescope Project will be live streaming the flower moon from 4.30am AEST (6.30am NZST) here.

Image: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Published on May 07, 2020 by Samantha Teague

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