Stargazers on Tuesday are in for a celestial delight as the biggest and brightest Supermoon of the year, also called the Snowmoon, is set to brighten up the night sky after 8.30 p.m. The Snowmoon will reach its peak at 10.54 a.m. EST in the US when it will be visible to most in North America. The Eastern Time Zone encompasses part or all of 22 states in the eastern part of the US.
The Supermoon on Tuesday will be full only six hours after it reaches the perigee distance of its orbit, making it the brightest and largest full Moon of the year, NASA said. February's Supermoon is being called a Snowmoon as certain Native American tribes in the US called the second full moon of the winter so. It is because the month is associated with heavy snowfall.
Historically, bad weather and heavy snowfalls used to make hunting difficult, so the Moon was also known as the Hunger Moon, NASA said. Another Supermoon also occurred in January with a slightly more distant perigee -- 583 km farther away. But it included a total lunar eclipse visible in all of North and South America. The third and last Supermoon of the year will be on March 19, when the perigee distance will be reached a day and five hours before the full Moon, NASA said.
(With inputs from agencies.)