'Super snow moon,' 2019's largest supermoon, to light up the sky Tuesday


    The full Snow Moon lights up the night sky over Lawrence, Kan., Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. February's full moon is so-named from Native American traditions because usually the heaviest snows fall in month. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

    WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A supermoon will grace the sky this week, and it will be the largest of the year, according to CNN.

    Tuesday night's moon is called a "super snow moon" because a full moon in February is otherwise known as a snow moon.

    According to NASA, a supermoon occurs when the moon is full and is also in its closest orbit to the Earth.

    The moon orbits the Earth in an elliptical, or oval shape. The farthest point in this ellipse is called the apogee and is about 253,000 miles from Earth on average. The closest point is the perigee, which is an average distance of about 226,000 miles from Earth.

    Supermoons, therefore, are about 27,000 miles closer to Earth, and can appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter to observers on Earth.

    Last month, celestial observers were treated to a "super blood wolf moon." January's full moon is called the "wolf moon," and it was a blood moon because there was a full lunar eclipse that coincided with the event. A lunar eclipse makes the moon appear dark red.

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