A supermoon happens when the moon is both full and at its perigee, the point in its orbit at which it’s closest to Earth. May’s supermoon is the fourth in a row — they also occurred in February, March, and April — but it will also be the last of 2020.
The supermoon will be visible from tonight through Friday, and it will peak on Thursday morning at 6:45 a.m. ET.
May’s full moon is known as the Flower Moon in the Farmer’s Almanac, a reference to the blooms of spring. For similar reasons, it’s also sometimes called the Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon. It’s also known as the Vesak Festival Moon because Vesak, a holiday that commemorates the Buddha’s birth and death, falls in May as well.
One of the best things about supermoons is that, as astronomical phenomena go, they’re quite easy to see. You don’t need a telescope, and even if you live in a light-polluted, hazy city, the moon is so big and bright that you shouldn’t have a problem seeing it.
Stargazing might be a particularly therapeutic experience given the stresses of the moment, but even if it isn’t, there’s never a bad time to stare at a giant moon, right?