7th of April is celebrated as International World Health Day every year. There are so many coincidences to every year, in which a day becomes significant for more than one reason. Today also happens to be such a coincidence. We are into 14th day of Lockdown in India but people today can look at the magnificence of the universe by observing Super Pink Moon of 2020.
As per Sarah Noble, a Lunar Scientist at NASA explains moon orbits around the earth but not in a perfect circular way but in an elliptical way. The moon is sometimes quite closer to us while sometimes it is quite far.
So what is Super moon? 🌑
Super moon is a full moon or new moon that is closest to earth on that day. It is because of this proximity that moon looks slightly bigger and brighter than usual days. Hence, the name Super! Please note that this is an unofficial definition of rather complex astronomical phenomena.
The name is perigee-syzygy
To understand this weird term, let us first understand about moon’s orbit in detail. The moon completes one rotation of the earth in 27 days. Since this orbit is not in a perfectly circular orbit, there are points when the moon is closer to earth, and other points when it is farther. Apogee is the farthest point and perigee is the closest point, from the moon to earth.
The distance between the earth and the moon during apogee or the point at which the moon is farthest is 4,05,500 kilometres while at perigee it is reduced to just 3,63,300 kilometres. A difference of 42,200 between apogee and perigee.
Syzygy, on the other hand, stands for alignment of 3 celestial bodies, the sun, the earth, and either the moon or any other planet. How does the sun come into the picture? Well, we all know the moon is a satellite and it does not have the light of its own. Although neither does earth! However, the moon reflects light of the sun. Hey, but did you know that moon reflects only about 3-13% of sunlight? If this is something new that you have learnt, comment below!
So now you know perigee-syzygy means moon at its closest point to earth and sun aligned to each other.
Pink Supermoon-The reason for its name
Since we are in April, we had recently celebrated the Spring season. Old Farmer’s Almanac, tribes which belonged to Native America, their timekeeping traditions named this season’s Supermoon as Pink Supermoon because wild ground phlox or moss pink flowers bloom in this season. These are one of the first spring flowers.
Now you understand about this special full moon of 2020. There are 13 full moons this year out of which full moons of 10th January, 9th February and 9th March have already passed.
Watch this moon and take some selfies in lockdown!
Since we are in lockdown, it is a perfect time for us to look at this astonishing phenomenon. Our phones might be less capable when it comes to filming the Super Pink Moon of 2020!, however, some selfies with the moon would make some memorable memories, especially because we have survived the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19.