Flower full moon: How to watch the final supermoon of 2020 tonight

Good weather and low air pollution makes Thursday a great opportunity to witness the celestial event in the UK

Anthony Cuthbertson
Thursday 07 May 2020 20:39 BST
'Flower moon' to arrive tonight, marking final supermoon of 2020

This week's full moon will be the final supermoon of 2020, whereby it appears bigger and brighter than usual in the night's sky.

The rare spectacle takes place when the moon is near to its closest point in its orbit, with May's full moon passing at 361,184km from Earth.

May's moon is traditionally known as the "flower moon", as it coincides with spring blossoms in the northern hemisphere.

Clear skies and unusually low air pollution resulting from the coronavirus lockdown makes it a good opportunity for sky gazers in the UK to witness the celestial event.

The best time to see it will be after sunset on Thursday evening, when the moon will rise in the south-east at around 8.44pm in the UK.

"Technically the exact moment of full moon is 11.45am, however the moon will not be visible in the sky in the UK at that time," said Greg Brown, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory.

"Times for moonrise and set vary slightly across the UK, but not by more than about 10 minutes or so."

An effect called the "Moon Illusion" means that the moon will appear even bigger at moonrise when it is close to the horizon.

This is because the brain is tricked into thinking it is much closer than it actually is, due to its relative size to objects like trees and buildings on the horizon.

It will be the final supermoon until April 2021.

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