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Tomorrow's Flower Moon will be the last supermoon of 2020 © Getty Images

Tomorrow's Flower Moon will be the last supermoon of 2020

Published: 06th May, 2020 at 09:56
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The Flower Moon will appear bigger and brighter on Thursday.

The final supermoon of the year is set to rise in the sky on Thursday.


The full Moon in May is also known as the “Flower Moon”, signifying the flowers that bloom during the month. Other names include the Hare Moon, the Corn Planting Moon, and the Milk Moon, according to Royal Observatory Greenwich.

The celestial event is expected to be visible early in the morning as well as after sunset as the Moon rises in the south-east.

Read more about supermoons:

Greg Brown, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory, told the PA news agency: “Technically the exact moment of full moon is 11:45, however the Moon will not be visible in the sky in the UK at that time.”

But the Earth’s natural satellite will still appear bigger than usual on Thursday morning, when it sets at around 05:42 in London, as well as on Thursday evening, when it rises at around 20:44.

He said: “Times for moonrise and set vary slightly across the UK, but not by more than about 10 minutes or so.”

This full Moon will also be a supermoon, meaning it will be about 6 per cent larger than a typical full moon and around 14 per cent bigger than a micromoon, which is when the moon is at its furthest point from Earth.

© PA Graphics
© PA Graphics

Dr Brown told PA: “The Moon’s orbit around the Earth is not entirely circular, instead a slightly flattened circle or ellipse. As such, it is sometimes closer to and sometimes further away from the Earth.

“While definitions vary, a supermoon typically occurs when a full moon coincides with the Moon being within the closest 10 per cent of its orbit.”

Dr Brown also said this event would be the third and final supermoon of this year.

He told PA: “Because of how the dynamics of orbits work, these usually occur in runs of two or three with longer gaps of several months between each set of supermoons.”


The next supermoon will be visible in April 2021.

Reader Q&A: Why is the Moon sometimes visible during the day?

Asked by: Fatima, Manchester

In fact, the Moon is visible in daylight almost every day. The Earth’s daily revolution on its axis means that the Moon is actually above the horizon for about 12 hours out of every 24. Usually, some portion of that time will be during daylight – you just need to look carefully, because its brightness is so much less than the Sun’s.

The only times you won’t be able to see it during the day are near a new Moon, when it is positioned too close to the Sun in the sky to be seen, and near a full Moon, when it rises at sunset and sets at sunrise, so is only visible during the hours of darkness.

Read more:


Sara RigbyOnline staff writer, BBC Science Focus

Sara is the online staff writer at BBC Science Focus. She has an MPhys in mathematical physics and loves all things space, dinosaurs and dogs.


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