The best time to check out tonight's spectacular supermoon in SA

19 February 2019 - 15:52 By Sanet Oberholzer
The biggest supermoon of the year will appear tonight.
The biggest supermoon of the year will appear tonight.
Image: 123RF/mycola

Stargazers, get those telescopes and cameras ready because you'll be able to see the biggest supermoon of the year tonight.

The supermoon will be visible in SA and will reach its peak at 5.34pm. The best time to see it will be around moonrise at 7.43pm. From then the supermoon can be seen for the whole night from everywhere provided there are clear skies.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A SUPERMOON?

Professor Nukri Komin from the University of the Witwatersrand's physics department explains: “When a full moon happens at the point of closest approach to Earth we call it a supermoon."

According to Komin, this means the moon will be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than when it is furthest from the Earth (also known as a micromoon).

According to Daniel Cunnama, outreach astronomer at the SA Astronomical Observatory, the supermoon that will be visible tonight is the largest full moon of 2019.

Because it's only a percent or so bigger than a regular full moon, it is not noticeably bigger for the human eye but it's spectacular nonetheless.


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