This is the best time to see tonight’s Supermoon from Ireland

Skywatchers will be treated to quit a sight tonight when a Supermoon appears over Ireland, writes Denise O’Donoghue.

Astronomy Ireland has calculated the exact moment when tonight’s Supermoon will be closest and biggest from Ireland, providing the best view from the ground.

Using data provided by NASA, they expect that the moon will be closest to Ireland at 21 minutes after midnight (12.21am).

At that time, the moon will be 351,268 kilometres from Ireland.

"Because we are 6,400 km from the centre of the Earth, the exact position of Ireland on the surface of the Earth is very important for calculating the moment when the moon is largest in the Irish sky and therefore at it’s closest for us" said David Moore, Editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine.

"A lot of news reports and internet sites give the moment of the moon being closest to the centre of the Earth but every place on the surface of the Earth will have a different time and closeness of the moon to them, so we are delighted to be able to let Irish people know exactly when the moon will be closest and therefore largest in the sky" he said

"That said, to the naked eye the size of the Moon will hardly vary from the time the moon rises (at sunset) and sets (at sunrise) so everyone should watch both tonight and tomorrow January 1st and 2nd."

Photographers who compare their images taken from sunset until the above 12:21am time will notice a slight increase in size of the moon.

This is the first of two Supermoons this year.

The second Supermoon will be on January 31, which will also be a ’Blue Moon’.

"The January 31 Supermoon will also be a ’Blue Moon’ - a second full moon in the same calendar month. These happen on average every 2.7 years so they are quite rare," said Mr Moore.

"There will even be a total eclipse of the Moon that day but no part of the eclipse will be visible from Ireland. We have to wait until January next year to see a total eclipse of the moon from Ireland."

- Digital Desk

KEYWORDS: Moon, Supermoon


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