Don’t miss the last supermoon of the year

Don’t miss the last supermoon of the year

For the second time in the space of a month, stargazers will be graced with the sight of a large supermoon. Make sure you don’t miss your chance to catch sight of this grandiose spectacle.

The supermoon returns

“The full moon on May 26 will be a particularly big one again,” Steven Melchert, chairman of the Sternfreunde Association. It's a real treat because it's the second time in a month that the skies above Germany will be dominated by a supermoon. Anyone who managed to catch a glimpse of the supermoon on April 27 will remember the particularly striking, large pink moon.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with, or nearly with, its perigee (the closest the Moon gets to the Earth during its elliptical orbit). The Moon’s elliptical orbit (the time it takes to travel around the earth) takes 27 days, with the distance between the Moon and the Earth fluctuating between 356.400 and 406.700 kilometres. When the Moon is at its farthest point from Earth, it is at its apogee.

This month’s full moon is only(!) 357.380 kilometres from Earth. According to the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), a supermoon looks 30 percent larger than a full moon in apogee, and also appears to shine about 30 percent brighter. 

Look to the skies on May 26

While the supermoon is hard to miss when the sky is clear, the German weather is threatening to ruin the experience for hopeful skywatchers, with the DWD warning that the outlook remains cloudy for much of the country throughout the night. "In many places, it remains grey on grey," said a DWD meteorologist. If you are lucky to find a break in the weather, the moon should be visible from 9pm onwards.

A lunar eclipse will also be able to visible in some parts of the world, turning the moon a blood-red colour. However, unfortunately for us, the eclipse will only be visible in its totality in parts of the US and Australia. People living in the Americas and parts of Asia will also be treated, but only to a partial eclipse.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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