The April 2021’s “Pink” Supermoon, captured from Chaguanas, Trinidad on April 26th, 2021. (Azlan Mohammed)
On April 26th-27th 2021, we experienced the first supermoon of 2021.
It was the first of three larger than usual full moons, which will occur in three consecutive months – April 26th/27th 2021, May 26th/27th (the largest visible supermoon for 2021), and June 24th/25th, 2021.
Unfortunately, across Trinidad and Tobago, increased cloud cover and periodic showers hampered viewings late at night. However, for those who were able to stay away till the wee hours of the morning, they were able to capture the moon in all its glory.
The moon has an elliptical orbit around Earth in the same way that the Earth has an elliptical orbit around the Sun. This results in a point in its orbit where the Moon will be closest to (perigee) and furthest away (apogee) from the earth. During a Supermoon, which is not a scientific term, a perigee syzygy occurs – meaning that the Earth, Sun, and Moon are all in alignment.
Here are the distances (as measured between the centers of the moon and Earth) for the three upcoming full moon supermoons:
- Full moon (April 27, 2021): 222,212 miles or 357,615 km
- Full moon (May 26, 2021): 221,851 miles or 357,462 km
- Full moon (June 24, 2021): 224,652 miles or 361,558 km
In contrast, the most distant and smallest full moon of the year will fall on December 19, 2021. Sometimes called a micromoon, it’ll be 252,235 miles (405,932 km) away. That’s a whopping 30,118 miles (48,470 km) farther away than the year’s closest and biggest full moon on May 26, 2021.
Farah Mohammed-Shah, Freeport, April 26th 2021
Mel C Mejias, Port of Spain, April 26th 2021
Supermoons can be both full moons (visible), such as the April, May, and June supermoons, and new moons (unable to see from Earth). These new Supermoons will occur on:
- November 4, 2021: 223,604 miles (359,856 km)
- December 4, 2021: 221,708 miles (356,804 km)