Evening sky showcases the moon at its brightest and biggest tonight


The super snow moon is the second of three supermoon events in the first three months of the year - a packed lunar calendar for 2019, which marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the mission that took the first humans to the moon.

On 19 February, skygazers in the United Kingdom will be treated to the biggest and brightest full moon of 2019, dubbed the Super Snow Moon.

According to the NASA, full moons are considered super moons when the moon is at its closest point in its orbit to earth, or its perigee. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac website, it is the brightest moon of the year and is referred to as a "snow" moon due to traditionally heavy snowfall in February.

The supermoon will reach its peak Tuesday morning at 10:54 a.m. eastern time, but it won't be visible then. Although in India, you won't be able to see the Moon at its closest because it is falling during the day, the full moon will be visible in the country.

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A supermoon happens when a full moon or a new moon when the moon is at its closest to Earth.

For people watching the celestial event in New York City, the Moon will rise at 5:46 p.m. and set at 7:35 a.m. on February 20, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory. The next supermoon will be on March 21, but with the moon at an orbital distance 3926 km greater than today. The moon is also going to be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than usual.

Contrary to popular belief, this super-sized full moon won't leave you temporarily crazed, nor should it interfere with sleep. Another super moon will show up in March.

"When the moon is near the horizon, it can look unnaturally large when viewed through trees, buildings, or other foreground objects", NASA wrote in a blog post.

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Apart from all the scientific facts, there is also an abundance of weather folklore about the moon, be it the shape, color or its position in the sky. The origin of the name is about what you'd expect: February is typically a month with ample snow in many places, hence the name that became associated with its super moon.

In any given year, between two and four full moons could be classified as supermoons.

February's supermoon is part of a trio of supermoons taking the celestial stage at the start of 2019.

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