Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
The first supermoon of 2020 will appear in the sky this weekend. The supermoon that appears in the month of February is traditionally known by many names, including Snow Moon, Storm Moon, Hunger Moon, Magha Purnima, Magha Puja, Mahamuni Pagoda Festival Moon, Chinese Lantern Festival Moon, and the Full Moon of Tu B'Shevat. You may need to set up your telescope in advance to experience the first supermoon of the year. In case you miss the chance to see the latest supermoon, you will have to wait for a month to see the next supermoon.
A supermoon is the term used to describe a full moon that appears when the Moon's orbit is closest to Earth. When it appears in February, it is traditionally known by many names, including Snow Moon, Storm Moon, and the Magha Purnima.
It is believed that the daily periods of sunlight will continue to lengthen post the supermoon appearance this weekend. Just like this supermoon, the next full Moon will also be a supermoon. It will be visible on March 9. However, the next supermoon of February that is also known as Snow Moon is predicted to appear on February 27 in 2021.
According to NASA, the Moon will appear full for nearly three days starting Friday evening to Monday morning, and it will be completely full on Sunday, February 9 at 2:33am EST. This will be the time when the supermoon will appear in the sky. The data provided by Norwegian site TimeandDate.com indicates that the Full Moon phase will occur at 1:03pm IST on Sunday. This means that the first supermoon of 2020 will only appear partially for stargazers in India sometime in the evening.
Although you won't be able to see the first supermoon of 2020 fully in India since it will appear during the day time, some online websites will provide its live stream. The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 will be streaming the forthcoming supermoon live on their website. The live stream can be viewed on a mobile device or a computer. You can also use a telescope to watch the action live in the sky, given there are no clouds to limit your visibility. Moreover, you don't need any additional equipment or safety precautions while watching the supermoon with your naked eye.