If you are looking for a distraction from all your many worries right now (so, so many), be sure to take a few moments tonight to cast your gaze to the skies above, as tonight’s full moon will be the biggest and brightest of the year.
It’ll be what’s called a pink supermoon, so-named because of the pink flowers that are typically among the first to appear during spring in the U.S. More generally, a supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with perigee, which is when the moon’s orbit comes closest to Earth.
Tonight the moon will appear a little larger to the naked eye—about 7% larger than the average-sized full moon and 14% larger than the smallest size, which is called a micro-moon. More noticeable will be the disproportionate increase in the moon’s brightness; tonight’s moon will be about 15% brighter than the average moon and 30% brighter than a micro-moon.
This is the third month in a row the full moon will have met supermoon status, with May also qualifying. But tonight’s supermoon will be the biggest and brightest of all the supermoons this year, so be sure to catch a glimpse.
Astronomers advise that the moon will be especially breathtaking during tonight’s moonrise, while the exact moment when the moon turns full will occur at 10:35 ET, and it will climb up to its highest point in the sky around midnight. However, if you can’t catch these precise moments, don’t worry: The moon will still appear full throughout the rest of the night. (If you want to pinpoint the times of your local moonrise and moonset, check here.)
If you have kids, this might be an especially good night to let them stay up late and learn about the different phases of the moon and the way the moon orbits the Earth. Even if you choose not to make this natural phenomenon into a learning experience, it’s still an opportunity to stop, take a breath and appreciate that there is still beauty all around us.