Super Flower Moon 2020: A gentle reminder to look up


Chad Sparkes / Wikimedia Commons

The term “supermoon” was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. Astronomers refer to it as a perigean full moon.

We all know the saying “April showers bring May flowers,” and boy did April have some showers. But as May unfolds and the world around us begins to bloom in preparation for summer, the sky grants us a different type of flower to marvel at tonight — the Super Flower Moon. 

Following a string of supermoons in early 2020 (February’s Snow Moon, March’s Worm Moon and April’s Pink Moon) tonight’s full Flower Moon is the last supermoon of the year, according to NASA

A supermoon occurs when the moon is at perigee, meaning it is at full phase and at the closest point to earth in its orbit. This closer proximity can make it appear up to 7% larger and 15% brighter — as if the moon wasn’t mesmerizing enough. 

Much lore surrounds the Flower Moon’s name. An ode to late spring, it is inspired by May as it is a time for blossoming (feel free to take this both literally and figuratively). It is also referred to as the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon, according to the Farmer’s Almanac

While the Super Flower Moon’s peak occurred early this morning (around 6:45 a.m. EDT), there is still time to catch a glimpse. Simply go outside and look east shortly after moonrise this evening.

While 2020 has brought on consistent showers and life, for many in quarantine, has droned into monotony, it’s important to recognize the little things — and perhaps realize that the little things are in fact the big things. Look up. 

The next full supermoon is not expected until April of 2021, so be sure to gaze skyward tonight and remind yourself of the free, brilliant spectacles that the universe puts on for us. Whether it brings you peace, clarity, or simply celestial eye candy, the Super Flower Moon is a sight to see.