The last of four consecutive supermoons is coming Thursday

Look up at the Flower Moon tonight and tomorrow night!

Thursday's supermoon (5/6/2020) (WSLS)

ROANOKE, Va. – The full moon will rise tonight and tomorrow night and it could appear brighter and larger than usual. Skies should be clear enough to see it both nights.

Supermoons happen when the Moon is at or close to perigee, the closest point in its orbit around Earth. When the Moon is at apogee (the furthest point in its orbit around us), we see a “minimoon” in the night sky. Supermoons appear 30 percent brighter than minimoons.

You’ve likely heard us talk about this phenomenon a few other times so far this year and that’s because Thursday’s supermoon is the fourth in a row. The other three happened on February 9, March 9 and April 7.

4 consecutive supermoons (5/6/2020) (WSLS)

We’ll have four supermoons in a row again next year, 2022, 2023 and 2024. There will be FIVE supermoons in a row from 2029 to 2033. You may be wondering if these strings of consecutive supermoons are rare. Not really!

The Earth and the Moon both move around the Sun. This creates similar but not repeating cycles between the Moon and Sun and Moon and Earth. There are sliding windows of time where supermoons happen three, four or five times in a row each year. You can read more about why this happens here.

If you miss Thursday’s supermoon, you won’t have another chance to see one until March of next year.


About the Author:

Justin McKee presents the weather forecast on 10 News Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6 to 8 a.m. He also fills in for other meteorologists during the week.