Full Flower Moon: How, where and when to watch the last Supermoon of 2020
Here is a small treat for anyone that wants a break from all the chaos and disruption brought about by the coronavirus pandemic — the final supermoon of 2020.
This year, the cosmos blessed us with a series of spring supermoons starting with March's Worm Moon and then April's Pink Moon. Stargazers will have the chance to witness another lunar spectacle on May 7 and it will be the last time that the moon can be seen in all its glory this year.
The Old Farmer's Almanac confirmed that the upcoming supermoon, which is called the Flower Moon, will be at its peak at 6.45 am EDT. However, during this time, the moon is expected to be below the horizon but one can also step outdoors the previous night (May 6) to get the best view of the full Flower Moon.
Viewers can also enjoy the sight on the night of May 7, when the moon will shine all night long. The Old Farmer's Almanac's Moonrise and Moonset Calculator can help you calculate when the moon will be visible in your area, based on your timezone.
"The Flower Moon is the fourth consecutive moon of 2020 to be classed as a super-moon, and will be the final one of the year," said Zoltan Toth-Czifra, founder of Under Lucky Stars, a company that makes custom-made star maps in a press release.
May's full moon will be rather far way in distance in comparison to the other supermoons we have witnessed so far, and although it will be bright and beautiful, The Old Farmer's Almanac says it won't be as bright or as big as those from March and April.
Technically, supermoons are about seven percent bigger and 15 percent brighter than the average full moon.
Why is it called the full Flower Moon?
The tradition of naming these celestial events date back centuries to when the Native American and Colonials used these names to track seasons, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.
The full Flower Moon was used by the Algonquin tribes who lived in the same vicinity as Colonialists, said Christina Ruddy of The Algonquin Way Cultural Centre in Pikwakanagan, Ontario. The name denotes the month of May when flowers blossom in the spring season in full abundance.
How to see the May 2020 full Flower Moon?
Under Lucky Stars breaks it down for us so we can have a wholesome moon-viewing experience. Firstly, the moon always rises in the east and sets in the west, so you should be following that direction while seeking out the full moon in the night sky.
With the current climate, the reduced level of pollution and a good weather forecast would mean that the skies will be clear and so will the view.
"As the moon will be so close, you should be able to see detailed craters with the naked eye, you may even see it cast moon shadows on the ground," reads Under Lucky Stars' press release. Just as it does with a regular occurring of a full moon, the supermoon will also affect the oceans — extra gravitational pull would mean high tides.
You can view the supermoon from your homes with no equipment. Under Lucky Stars recommends allowing some time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness, since you've been accustomed to the brightness from the day.
"Allow at least 30 minutes to see results when you are staring into space and you’ll be seriously impressed by the results," it said.
Blanketing your house in darkness could elevate your moon-viewing experience. Turn off all the lights in your home before venturing outdoors to your viewing spot because artificial lights could make it tricky to view the moon.
"Bear in mind that turning off the lights means all the surrounding area. The moon is the brightest thing in the sky at night, and any glare can make it harder to observe the sky," Under Lucky Stars explained.