Stunning pink supermoon ‘spectacular to the naked eye’ seen across night sky
Spectacular pictures show the UK’s stunning “pink moon” tonight – as stargazers enjoy the impressive sight.
Brits have taken to social media as the celestial event lights up the skies.
Paul Hindle, wrote: “Never going to come out well on an iPhone but the Supermoon looks spectacular to the naked eye tonight.”
The full moon in April is also known as the “pink moon” as it is named after pink flowers, known as phlox, which bloom in the springtime.
It is a supermoon because the full moon will occur when it is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit.
Supermoons occur because the distance between the moon and the Earth changes over time.
The moon’s orbit around the Earth isn’t perfectly circular, it is shaped like an ellipse.
When the moon is closest to the Earth on the same night as a full moon, it is known as a supermoon.
Anna Ross, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, told the PA news agency: “A supermoon is the result of a full moon occurring when the moon is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit.
“This can happen because the moon orbits the Earth on an elliptical path, rather than a circular one.
“As this means that the moon is a little closer to us, it appears slightly bigger in the sky.”
Because the moon is nearer the Earth, its gravitational pull is stronger and this makes the tides higher.
Some have suggested the gravitational pull of a supermoon is an extra 20-30 per cent – or even as much as 50 per cent higher.
It means higher tides and bigger waves.
The tide will be around two inches higher than normal – and although that doesn’t sound like much, meteorologists say higher tides combined with high winds could lead to coastal flooding or produce more intense storms.
The supermoon also causes a slight increase in seismic activity by exerting a greater gravitational pull on the molten rock beneath the surface of the Earth.
This makes the ground rise and fall just like the tides in the ocean and that could put extra strain on fault lines, triggering an earthquake.
According to NASA, the moon being at its closest during its fullest phase should not affect the Earth in any extreme way because we already have two tides a day.