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Jan Harris
Assistant Editor
2:00 PM 6th May 2020

Final Supermoon Of 2020

Every month of the year there is a full moon, each of which is given a different name. Full moons occur when the moon is on the opposite side of the earth to the sun.

In the year 2020 there have been three full moon supermoons in March, April and May. The supermoon on Thursday will be the third and final supermoon of 2020.

But there will be three new moon supermoons on 17 September, 16 October and 15 November.

Why called the Flower Moon?

The Full Moon of May is known as the Flower Moon to signify the abundance of flowers that bloom during this month.

Other names for May's brightest moon are Corn Planting Moon, Mother's Moon, and Milk Moon, this was because cows were milked three times a day. Some sources also refer to it as Hare Moon.

The May full moon marked a time of increasing fertility, with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts and plants in bloom.

What is a supermoon?

Supermoon -  credit Rob Harris
Supermoon - credit Rob Harris
A supermoon is when you look up at the night sky and the full moon looks so close you feel as if you could almost touch it, although sometimes the difference is hard to spot with the naked eye.

This is called a moon illusion as the full moon appears much larger when it rises behind a distant object on the horizon.

When the moon is closest to the earth a supermoon occurs. A supermoon will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than usual. A supermoon looks especially large when rising and setting.

The moon will be 30,000 miles closer than usual. It sounds a lot, but the average distance between the earth and moon is 238,900 miles, so it’s not that huge a difference.

If you go outside on the night of a full supermoon you should actually notice that it is exceptionally bright.

According to the US space agency the term supermoon was first coined back in 1979 and is now quite commonly used.

Traditional Full Moon Names 2020

January 10 - Wolf Moon
February 9 - Snow Moon
March 9 - Worm Moon
April 7 - Pink Moon
May 7 - Flower Moon
June 5 - Strawberry Moon
July 5 - Buck Moon
August 3 - Sturgeon Moon
September 2 - Corn Moon
October 1 - Harvest Moon
October 31 - Blue Moon
November 30 - Beaver Moon
December 29 - Cold Moon

The names given to the full moons during the year are derived from the North American traditions. Many of these ancient moon names have been given based on the behaviour of the plants, animals, or weather during that month.

It is said that they were the names given by Native American tribes and included into our modern calendar. However the full moon names we now use also have Anglo-Saxon and Germanic roots.

With the lovely sunny weather we’ve had this week we should all be able to get a glimpse of the last supermoon of 2020 as it will appear full for a few days this week, although it will peak on Thursday.

The next full moon will rise on the 5 June and is the Strawberry Moon.