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'Supermoon' to be visible over the UK on Tuesday evening

The supermoon will be visible over the UK this evening. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

Stargazers may notice that the Moon looks bigger and brighter on Tuesday evening, as the second supermoon of 2019 appears over British towns and cities.

The event occurs when the Moon is at its lunar perigee, its shortest distance from the Earth, making it appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than at its lunar apogee, its furthest point.

However, cloudy skies across parts of the country threaten to make Tuesday night’s supermoon difficult to see for some.

Credit: PA Graphics

“The February 2019 supermoon is special because it will be the largest full moon gracing our night skies until 2026,” said Emily Drabek-Maunder, astronomer at Royal Observatory Greenwich.

“This is because the moment the Moon is at its fullest phase is closer to the time the Moon is at perigee. Tonight, the Moon may seem brighter and will be up to 14% larger than when the Moon is at apogee, or furthest away from Earth in its orbit.

“You’ll be able to see the Moon over the entire night from London if the skies remain clear.

The first supermoon of 2019 was last month, as pictured above the Shard in London. Credit: PA

“The moon will begin its rise in the east around sunset at 5.22pm, be at its highest point towards south around midnight, and then will make its descent in the west around sunrise at 7.05am.”

The first supermoon of this year took place on January 21, and the last for 2019 will happen on March 21.

As the first full moon of February, this supermoon is known as a snow moon, based on the typical cold, snowy weather in North America.