First supermoon of 2021 is Monday night

The “full flower supermoon” in May 2020 is seen in this photo. (Courtesy Greg Redfern)

Hey, DMV! It looks like our spring skies will be clear Monday night into Tuesday, so we can enjoy the year’s first full supermoon that will occur worldwide.

A full supermoon happens when the full moon occurs within 24 hours of perigee, or when the moon is closest to the Earth during the lunar month.

For those of us on the East Coast of the U.S., the “full pink supermoon will occur precisely at 11:31 p.m. EDT. The “pink” is in reference to a pink flower called moss pink that blooms in spring.

What’s more, this is the first of three full supermoons in a row, coming in April, May and June, according to Earthsky.org.

NASA says there are only two supermoons, occurring in April and May. Some publications are reporting four supermoons for 2021. The differences are a result of how a publication or organization defines a supermoon. I chose to split the difference and go with three, as EarthSky.org is doing.

May’s full supermoon will be the closest full moon for the entire year, while Monday night’s will be only 95 miles farther away. Ocean tides will be higher and lower as a result of the moon’s proximity to Earth.

NASA has more information on Monday’s full pink supermoon, as well as some other celestial events on the NASA website.

The full pink supermoon will look a little brighter Monday night and will be a bit larger, something experienced moon-watchers may notice. It will be a glorious sight to behold in the crisp spring air.

Moonrise will be in the East at sunset with the bright star Spica just above the moon. The bright orangish star to the left of the moon is beautiful Arcturus, the fourth-brightest star in the entire night sky.

Be sure to get out and enjoy Luna’s splendor.

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