Supermoon: When it appears in February, it is known by many names, including Snow Moon. (File)
The first snow supermoon of this year will be visible in the sky this weekend. A supermoon is the term used to describe a full moon that appears when the Moon’s orbit is closest to Earth. When it appears in February, it is traditionally known by many names, including Snow Moon, Storm Moon, and the Magha Purnima.
What is a Supermoon
As the Moon orbits Earth, it goes through phases, which are determined by its position relative to Earth and the Sun, according to NASA. When the Moon lines up on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun, we see a full moon. The new moon phase occurs when the Moon and the Sun are lined up on the same side of Earth.
Full moons can occur at any point along the Moon’s elliptical path, but when a full moon occurs at or near the perigee, it looks slightly larger and brighter than a typical full moon. That’s what the term “supermoon” refers to.
According to NASA, the Moon will appear full for nearly three days starting Friday evening to Monday morning, and it will be completely full on Sunday, February 9 at 2:33am EST. This will be the time when the supermoon will appear in the sky.
The data provided by Norwegian site TimeandDate.com indicates that the Full Moon phase will occur at 1:03pm IST on Sunday. This means that the first supermoon of 2020 will only appear partially for stargazers in India sometime in the evening.
NASA says because supermoon is not an official astronomical term, there is no definition about just how close to perigee the full moon has to be in order to be called “super.” Generally, supermoon is used to refer to a full moon 90 percent or closer to perigee.
The first supermoon of 2020 will only appear partially for stargazers in India sometime in the evening.
Although you won’t be able to see the first supermoon of 2020 fully in India since it will appear during the day time, some online websites will provide its live stream.