When the sun goes down on April 8, the world will be treated to the largest and brightest supermoon of 2020. Find out the best time to see the bright and beaming full moon (and learn some basic photography tips to capture it).
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Aussies won’t be able to drive to the best possible vantage point (away from city lights) to catch the supermoon but worry not, you can still get a good glimpse right from the comfort of your home if you time it right. And remember, it’ll be the ‘best supermoon of the year’ according to the Sydney Observatory, so you might want to cancel any mediocre Wednesday night plans that most likely include binge-watching TV.
Just what is a ‘supermoon’, anyway?
The moon on April 8 is going to be the largest and brightest of the year. This optical effect is caused by the moon’s elliptical orbit bringing it closer to the Earth. In layman’s terms, this is known as a ‘supermoon’ or even ‘extra-super moon’, due to its even larger appearance. Wednesday night’s moon will appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other times of the year.
How and when do I watch the supermoon?
Depending on where you are in Australia, the peak time to watch the supermoon (i.e. when it will be largest and brightest) is after 11pm. However, it also looks stunning during sunrise so you might want to set your alarm clocks for an early start.
As astronomical events go, this one is pretty easy to watch: All you really have to do is head outside and look up. If the skies are clear in your area, the difference in size and brightness should be pretty obvious.
How to photograph the supermoon
If you’re after a great photo, set yourself up with a vantage point to the east and lower the exposure to bring out the details in the moon’s surface. (You can find some in-depth tips here.)
This article has been updated for the upcoming supermoon.