May’s flower moon – the 3rd and final supermoon of 2020 – to brighten sky starting Wednesday night

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A super moon passes through clouds over Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, March 20, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

The final supermoon of the year, rounding out a trio of spring supermoons that began in March, will occur during May’s full moon. The big, bright moon will appear fullest on the morning of May 7 at 6:45 a.m. ET, according to NASA.

The full moon will be visible from the evening of May 6 until the morning of May 8.

This supermoon comes on the heels of the biggest and brightest supermoon of the year in April, but it’s still more spectacular than a typical full moon.

Supermoons occur when the moon is within 90% of perigee — which is its closest approach to Earth in orbit. The moon will appear brighter and bigger in the night sky, and hopefully no clouds and inclement weather will obscure the view.

The supermoon will be visible to people around the world from dusk until dawn. If clouds obscure your view, the Virtual Telescope Project will be sharing a livestream of the supermoon over Rome on May 7 beginning at 18:30 UT, or Coordinated Universal Time.

May’s full moon is also known as the flower moon.

The flower moon, like many of the monthly moon names, can be attributed to how Native Americans tracked the seasons, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Given the wealth of flowers that bloom in May, this month’s full moon name is no surprise. Specifically, Algonquin tribes referred to this as the flower moon in North America.

Normally, there are 12 full moons in a year because one occurs each month. But in 2020, October will have two full moons, one on October 1 and then again on October 31.

Two full moons in the same month is known as a “blue moon.” And the fact that the second one falls on Halloween truly makes this event “once in a blue moon.”

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