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First supermoon of 2021 to appear over Taiwan tonight

Supermoons can appear up to 7% larger, 15% brighter than regular full moons

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A supermoon can appear up to 7 percent larger than a regular full moon. (Taipei Astronomical Museum photo)

A supermoon can appear up to 7 percent larger than a regular full moon. (Taipei Astronomical Museum photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Stargazers in Taiwan will have the rare opportunity to see the first of the only two supermoons of 2021 tonight (April 27), according to the Taipei Astronomical Museum.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon is within 90 percent of its closest point to Earth, the museum said, and it can appear up to 7 percent larger and 15 percent brighter than a typical full moon. There will be two supermoons this year, with the first reaching its fullest phase tonight at 11:22 p.m. and the second occurring on May 26.

The museum said there will be a live streaming event for the next supermoon, which will be slightly larger than the one tonight. Meanwhile, a total lunar eclipse will be seen across the nation on May 26 from 6:31 to 9:51 p.m., at one point lending the moon a reddish hue.

The term "supermoon" was coined by American astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 to describe a new or full moon that occurs nearly simultaneously with its perigee, the point at which the moon comes closest to Earth during its monthly orbit. Although there is not a strict international definition for the phenomenon, astrologers generally agree that a full moon occurring at a distance of less than 360,000 kilometers is considered a supermoon.


Updated : 2022-05-26 10:42 GMT+08:00