MAY 6, 2020
In the early hours of May 7, the last full moon of the spring will appear, and it will be a super sight!
The full Super Flower Moon will appear on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. May’s full moon is the last super moon of the year, following the Super Worm Moon in March and the Super Pink Moon in April.
Here’s what to know about the celestial event.
What is the Flower Moon?
Every month of the year has a full moon — they occur every 27.5 days — and each of those moons has its own nickname. April’s full moon, for example, is known as the Pink Moon, June is the Strawberry Moon, July is the Buck Moon and August is the Sturgeon Moon.
Each nickname is meant to correspond with the season, and the naming traditions can often be traced back to Native Americans. The Flower Moon is named for the time of year when late frosts have ended and many flowers are in full bloom.
According to the Almanac, the May full moon has also been called the Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, and Corn Planting Moon, depending on the community and traditions from which the nickname came.
What is a super moon?
The moon does not give off any light on its own, which means that it isn’t really glowing, but reflecting the light coming from the sun. A full moon occurs when the moon looks totally illuminated from the Earth’s perspective.
A super moon is the result of the full moon coinciding with the moon’s closest point of orbit in relation to the Earth, which is known as perigee. The result is that the moon is not only full, but looks closer to us and brighter than usual. On average, a super moon is seven percent bigger and 15 percent brighter than a full moon.
The May Super Flower Moon is the last super moon this year. February’s full moon was close to being super, but not quite in perigee; March had the first super moon, the Super Worm Moon; and April had a Super Pink Moon, the biggest and brightest of 2020.
When will I be able to see the Super Flower Moon?
The Super Flower Moon will reach its peak on Thursday, May 7 at 6:45 am E.T., but the time to see it will be Wednesday night into early Thursday morning.
“It will be below the horizon [by 6:45], so plan to venture outdoors the night before (Wednesday, May 6) or on Thursday night to get the best view of the bright full Flower Moon,” suggests the Farmer’s Almanac. Residents of Canada and the U.S. can input their postal code or zip code in this calculator to find out when the moon will be visible in their region.
When is the next full moon?
The next full moon, known as the Strawberry Moon, will occur on June 5, 2020, peaking at 3:12 pm E.T., according to the Farmer’s Almanac, so the time to see it will be the night of June 4 or 5. It will not, sadly, be super.