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Take a coronavirus break and check out tonight’s supermoon

Evergreen trees are silhouetted on a mountaintop as a supermoon shined over Silverthorne, Colo., in 2016.
(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)

A supermoon will rise in the sky Tuesday night, looking to be the biggest and brightest of the year.

Not only will the moon be closer to Earth than usual, but it will also be full. Scientists call this cosmic combo a supermoon.

At its fullest, the moon will be 221,855 miles away, making it appear larger and more brilliant.

NASA is encouraging everyone to look skyward, whether they step outside or peer through a window.

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These are some of the unusual new scenes across the Southland during the coronavirus outbreak.

Lunar scientist Noah Petro of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland said the important thing was to stay safe while moon-gazing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you can’t get out safely ... then fine,” Petro said. “Go out next month or whenever it’s safe again. Use the full moon as an excuse to get out and start looking at the moon.”

He added: “Use this as an opportunity to not physically distance yourself, but emotionally connect with something that is physically far from us.”

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A string of supermoons are on tap this spring. If you miss the one Tuesday night, catch the next one on May 7.

In mid-April, the waning moon will pass by Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, clustered in the southeastern sky before dawn.

All this comes after a brilliant Venus passed a few days ago in front of the Pleiades, the so-called Seven Sisters star cluster.

“We’ve really been fortunate to have some good astronomy — backyard astronomy or living room astronomy,” Petro said.


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