PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – When a supermoon comes around we are ready to capture that beautiful, glowing night sky. Come this weekend, the full moon for March will be the first of three supermoons in 2020.
According to Jim Todd with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), this will be the second-closest full moon this year. The term sounds special, but supermoons are not exactly rare. Todd says, at least two, or perhaps a half dozen, occur each year.
If you’re planning and checking out the full moon this weekend from Portland, the moon will appear full to the eye on March 8 and March 9. The precise instant of the full moon comes to pass on March 9, at 10:47 a.m. PST when it is daylight and below the horizon. With that being said, it will look nice and full both Saturday and Sunday when visible.
When you think about the progression of the moon, you can think of a full moon occurring in the middle of the lunar cycle of 29.5 days. Now the full moon may only be 100% full for about one minute, Todd says it looks “full” for about three days. On Monday, the precise instant of the full moon comes to pass at 10:47 a.m. when it is daylight and below the eastern horizon.
When a full moon occurs at or near the perigee, it looks 14% larger and 30% brighter than a typical full moon. That’s what the term “supermoon” refers to. Generally, a supermoon is used to refer to a full moon 90 percent or closer to actual perigee.
Jim Todd of OMSI contributed to this article