Saturday 17 March 2018

Are you watching the Supermoon tonight?

The 'Supermoon' in Dublin
The 'Supermoon' in Dublin

Isabelle Fraser

Tonight, sky watchers across Ireland and the UK are able to see the first of three Supermoons this year.

That means the moon will be very full and bright in the sky, because it has come very close to earth.

Tonight's full moon will be just 222,631 miles from earth - one of the closest approaches of the year.

Much of the south and north west of Ireland is cloudy - but if you live in the midlands or east, you should get a good chance.

When a moon is close to the earth, it is known as a lunar perigee, which can lead to high tides, and greater variations between the tides.

The next Supermoons will take place on 28 September and 27 October - though the next one will be a particularly impressive.

The 'Supermoon' in Dublin tonight
The 'Supermoon' in Dublin tonight

In September there will be a total eclipse of the moon, visible in the early morning of 28 September in Europe.

This takes place when the moon passes through the earth's shadow - this is will be a 'blood Supermoon', when the moon appears red or copper as light is refracted across the surface.

Some have said that a 'Blood Moon' is the sign of an impending apocalypse, bringing strange tidal activity, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

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