What Is A Flower Moon And How To See The Last One In 2020

Don't miss this month's supermoon -- it's the last one of the year.

If you're looking for an activity to fill your time while in self isolation, preparing to gaze at the sky might be a suitable activity.

Especially when considering May's "Flower Moon" which is the last one of 2020 will peak on Thursday night.

A supermoon over Bondi Beach. Image: Getty

Here's everything you need to know it:

What is a 'flower moon'?

The full moon in May was called the "Flower Moon" by some Native American tribes for the large number of flowers that bloom this month, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.

It is also sometimes referred to as the Corn Planting Moon and Milk Moon, according to NASA.

This year's May full moon is also called the Vesak Festival Moon, as it corresponds to the Buddhist holiday Vesak -- which honours the birth, enlightenment and passing of Gautama Buddha.



Eta Aquarids And Super Flower Moon Provide Out Of This World Viewing

Keep your eyes on the night sky because it's a big week for our galaxy.

The "Flower Moon" is the last in a series of four supermoons in quick succession this year. The others occurred in February, March and April.

A supermoon happens when a moon is both full and closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit at the same time, according to NASA.

This phenomenon makes the full moon appear "slightly" brighter and larger than normal, according to the agency.

How can I see the flower moon?

The final supermoon of 2020 will first be visible at moonrise which will take place at 5.13pm (AEST) on Thursday 7 May. As the moon appears closer to the horizon at this time, it will make for perfect viewing.

“When the moon is near the horizon, it can look unnaturally large when viewed through trees, buildings, or other foreground objects," said NASA.

The effect is an optical illusion, but that fact doesn’t take away from the experience.

But if you want to see the supermoon at it's fullest, it will reach its peak at 8:45pm (AEST) that same night, according to NASA.

If you can't catch it at either of these two times, the moon will still appear full for much of the week, so there will be plenty of opportunities to catch a glimpse.

Eta Aquarids meteor shower 2020

Aside from the supermoon, The Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaked early this morning and was visible in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

It will still be visible tonight but it is much harder to catch as light pollution can obstruct the event. With the shower peaking close to the supermoon, only the brightest of shooting stars were visible to onlookers without binoculars or telescopes.

Featured image: Getty

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