Cyprus will say farewell to spring with a supermoon today, when the moon will be at its closest point to earth, appearing larger than usual.
Astrophysicist Chrysanthos Fakas told the Cyprus News Agency this happens because the moon’s orbit around the earth is elliptical, fluctuating between 356,000 km and 406,000 km.
This year has already seen a supermoon, April’s ‘Pink Moon’ and will now record the second one, May’s ‘Flower Moon’.
When the full moon appears, it will be ever-so-slightly closer to earth than in April, meaning the ‘Flower Moon’ will be the biggest and brightest of the year.
The moon won’t look any bigger or brighter than April’s to the naked eye since the moon’s distance from earth differs by less than 100 km between April and May.
May’s supermoon was named Flower Moon as it appears during the season when the flowers are in full blossom.
“In America, for centuries, they used the synodal calendar, that is, they measured time, based on the moon, and for this reason, they have names for all the full moons.
“In contrast to Europe, where we have used the solar calendar for centuries and the fixed 12 months,” said Fakas.
This month’s full moon coincides with a total lunar eclipse but will not be visible from Cyprus.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth stands directly between the moon and the sun, which results in the earth casting its shadow on the moon.
During a total lunar eclipse, the moon is fully obscured by the earth’s shadow, giving the moon a reddish hue.