When can I see the first ‘supermoon’ of 2021?

Lizzie Edmonds
·2-min read
<p>A Supermoon rises above Windsor Castle last year</p> (PA)

A Supermoon rises above Windsor Castle last year

(PA)

The first supermoon of 2021 will appear in the skies on April 27.

This month’s spectacle is known as a Pink Moon because of the time of year it is occurring - but it may also appear slightly pink due to its close proximity to Earth.

The Pink Moon is believed to be the name given to April’s full moon by Native American tribes as it coincided with the flowering pink moss calledPhlox Subulata.

But as the moon will pass within 224,000 miles of Earth it may also appear pink in colour in the right conditions.

Clouds, dust, smoke or air pollution can alter the atmosphere in such a way that the sun’s light reflected off the moon towards Earth is filtered of certain colours of the light spectrum.

Air pollution, dust or clouds can mean the sun’s light is reflected off the moon with certain colours of the light spectrum.

The moon will also appear bigger and brighter when it is close to the horizon, due to an effect known as the Moon Illusion.

The moon will rise at 7.28pm on 26 April and set at 6.04am on 27 April.

A supermoon in May last yearPA
A supermoon in May last yearPA

Its peak will be at4.31am BST on Tuesday 27 April - but to the untrained eye will look spectacular and full for a day either side.

It is the first of two supermoons in 2021 - and the next will take place in a month on May 26.

Nasa scientist Gordon Johnston said that moon will be slightly larger and brighter.

He wrote in a recent blog post: “The term ‘supermoon’ was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 and refers to either a new or full moon that occurs when the moon is within 90 per cent of perigee, its closest approach to Earth.

“These two full moons are virtually tied, with the full moon on 26 May, 2021, slightly closer to the Earth than the full moon [in April], but only by about 157km, or about 0.04 per cent of the distance from Earth to the moon at perigee.”

The Met Office predicts conditions in London will be clear around the Supermoon - meaning potentially excellent viewing conditions for the spectacle.

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