Supermoon 2020: The next full moon will be a ‘supermoon’, and it will appear, as per NASA, on Monday 1:48 PM EDT (or 11:18 pm Monday, Indian Standard Time -IST). And as per the US space agency it will be visible for three days - from Sunday to Wednesday.
As per the Hindu month Phalgun, the full moon (Poornima) will correspond with the festival of colours - Holi, which will fall on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - the day when people in India play with colours, dry colours and coloured water. The day before Holi, March 09, will be celebrated as ‘Holika Dahan’, or the day people traditionally burn a bonfire and play with dry colours and dust in some parts of the country.
What is a Supermoon?
Supermoon Meaning: A supermoon is said to take place on the new moon or a full moon night when the moon coincides with its closest approach point in its orbit around the Earth. Supermoons are said to make the moon look closer than normal to the human eye, and much brighter as well, although this difference is said to be hard to spot from the naked eye.
The term ‘supermoon’ caught the imagination of people in 2016 when three supermoons occurred in a row that year. The supermoon that took place in November 2016 is said to have been the closest supermoon in 69 years, as per Space.com. It also reports that an even closer supermoon will occur in the year 2030.
In 2020, the four full moons between February and May will meet the 90% threshold, says the report. In comparison to March’s full moon, the full moon in April 2020 will be slightly closer to the Earth (roughly 0.1%), it adds.
The term supermoon has only prevailed in the common lexicon for 40 years or so. It was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979, to denote the celestial occurring when either a full moon or a new moon is within 90 per cent of its perigree - or, in simpler terms, closest to the Earth in a given orbit. So, in theory, there can be 3 or 4 full moon or new moon supermoons in a year. The times when the moon appears brightest is what catches the attention of most people. In theory, every month must have only one full moon night, but at times when two full moons fall in a month, it is known as a ‘blue moon’.