Pink supermoon set to brighten UK night skies next week

A pink supermoon is set to brighten the night skies over the UK next week, with the full moon reaching its closest point occurring at the end of the month according to the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

The moon will appear bigger and brighter in the sky, but there will not be any noticeable difference in colour, as the name might suggest.

The full moon in April is known as the “pink moon” as it is named after pink flowers, known as phlox, which bloom in the springtime.

The celestial event is expected to take place just before sunset on April 27 as the moon rises in the east and will be visible until it sets in the west the next morning.

The moon in the skies over Ashford in Kent, the day before it reaches its fullest and becomes a Supermoon. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The moon in the skies over Ashford in Kent, the day before it reaches its fullest and becomes a Supermoon. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

It is also a supermoon because the full moon will occur when it is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit.

Anna Ross, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, told the PA news agency: “The average distance of the moon from the Earth is 384,400km, but the moon will reach its closest point this lunar month on April 27 at 16:24, when it will be 357,379 km away.

The moon in the skies over Ashford in Kent, the day before it reaches its fullest and becomes a Supermoon. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The moon in the skies over Ashford in Kent, the day before it reaches its fullest and becomes a Supermoon. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

“The exact moment of the full moon closest to this point – so the supermoon – is also on April 27, but at 04:31.

Steve Parsons/PA Wire.. .....

Steve Parsons/PA Wire.. …..

“This means that the best times to view this supermoon will be anytime during the night of April 27 – when the moon will rise in the east just before sunset and set in the west around sunrise.”

During this time, the Earth’s natural satellite will still appear around 14% bigger and 30% brighter.

Ms Ross said: “A supermoon is the result of a full moon occurring when the moon is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit.

The moon in the skies, the day before it reaches its fullest and becomes a Supermoon tomorrow. Peter Byrne/PA Wire.. .....

The moon in the skies, the day before it reaches its fullest and becomes a Supermoon tomorrow. Peter Byrne/PA Wire.. …..

“This can happen because the moon orbits the Earth on an elliptical path, rather than a circular one.

“As this means that the moon is a little closer to us, it appears slightly bigger in the sky.”

The next supermoon will be visible in May 2021.

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