'Super snow moon' on 19 February will be biggest and brightest of the entire year

Second supermoon of the year also known as a 'hunger moon'

Peter Stubley
Monday 18 February 2019 20:20 GMT
What makes a supermoon super?

Skygazers suffering withdrawal symptoms after last month’s lunar eclipse will soon be treated to a “super snow moon”.

On 19 February the full moon will be the biggest and brightest in 2019 because its orbit is at its closest to earth, at around 356,800km (221,700 miles).

That makes it the second supermoon in a row following the “super blood wolf moon” on 21 January.

February’s full moon is also traditionally known as a snow moon or hunger moon because this month often sees the heaviest snowfalls and comes at the end of winter when food is scarce.

It reaches its perigee, or closest point to the earth, at 9.06am in the UK and is at its fullest at 3.53pm, although the moon will only be visible after it rises at 5.11pm.

Supermoons appear 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than “micromoons”, the term for full moons at their furthest point from the earth at around 405,500km (253,000 miles).

The next supermoon, known as the “Full Worm Moon”, can be seen in the UK on 21 March, within a few hours of the official start of spring.

A partial lunar eclipse will be visible in the UK on the night of 16 July but the next full lunar eclipse will not take place until 2021.

Last month’s eclipse was only visible from some parts of the UK because of cloudy skies. However some observers witnessed an object colliding with the moon during the celestial event.

Scientists believe it was a meteoroid roughly the size of a beachball and with a mass of 20kg to 100kg crashing into the moon at a speed of roughly 47,000 km/h.

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