The night sky will dazzle on Wednesday at midnight as the largest and brightest moon, called “Supermoon” will rise in the sky.
The phenomenon, which occurs when the moon is full and as well as closest to the surface of the earth, will be witnessed at 12:08 am, according to the US space agency NASA.
The supermoon appearing today has been termed by NASA as the “Buck Supermoon.” The name traces its origin in the 1930s when Native Americans started naming the different types of moons and this type of Supermoon was named “Buck” after taking inspiration from Buck deers who have a behaviour of waking up early and looking at the sky.
As the moon revolves around the earth in an elliptical orbit or path, a time comes when it is farthest or 4,05,500 km away from the earth and nearest or 3,63,300 km away. The farthest point has been named “Apogee” while the nearest “Perigee”.
So, a Supermoon occurs when the moon is “full” and at the “Prigree” location. The term “supermoon” was coined in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle and described it as a full moon occurring near or at the time when the Moon is at the closest point in its orbit around Earth.
Apart from lighting the sky, the Supermoon energises tides and oceanic activities, due to the larger gravitational pull resulting from the closest location of the Moon from Earth.
The Supermoon also has significance across countries and cultures. Europeans, who call it Hay Moon, find it auspicious for honey cultivation and fermenting.
Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, call the day “Guru Purnima” and symbolises it by clearing the mind and thoughts and worshiping teachers or masters.
Chinese mark this day as the middle of the sixth month of their calendar while Burmese as the beginning of the three-month-long religious event ‘Vassa’.
The skywatchers and photographers need not worry if the sky is cloudy as the Supermoon will be witnessed for three days beginning Wednesday.