News World Pink supermoon lights up the world – but the next one will be better
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Pink supermoon lights up the world – but the next one will be better

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A pink supermoon lit up the night sky above Australia on Tuesday night, the first of two spectacular moons in a month.

The moon, which began rising about 5.30pm, appeared 17 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than usual.

Onlookers were able to watch the moon climb over Sydney Harbour, hanging like a ball behind the famous Opera House.

The moon hangs above the Sydney Opera House. Photo: AAP

Although stunning, the moon was not actually pink.

Astronomer Sara Webb said the phenomenon’s name was a little bit of “false advertising”, and relates to the timing of the supermoon.

Around the world photographers made the most of iconic settings line Stonehenge. Photo: Nick Bull

The phenomenon, which usually takes place every year about April, comes when a full moon occurs while it is on its closest approach to earth.

“Hundreds of years ago the Americans used to call it the pink supermoon because a beautiful wildflower would bloom around the same time, so they would associate that with big, bright full moon,” Ms Webb said.

“It’s one of those moons that when you’re driving along or you’re outside that you really like ‘woah’.”

A ball in the night sky over Warragul, Gippsland Victoria. Photo: Craig Johnson

Blood supermoon

This year Australians will be treated to two supermoons, with another due on May 26.

“We have one full moon as it is entering its closest point and one full moon as it is exiting its closest point … so it is just a lucky coincidence,” she said.

The Israeli coastal city of Netanya. Photo: Getty

The second will be arguably better than the first, Ms Webb said, as it is a blood supermoon.

“This one is not false advertising in the name. It actually is bright red and it’s because it’s going to happen during a partial lunar eclipse.”

The Sydney Harbour Bridge illuminated by the moon. Photo: Mark Butler

Photo gallery: Pink supermoon around the world

Rising over the Philippines. Photo: Astrophotography
The Super Pink Full Moon rises over the former Almonte post office, which is a National Historic Site of Canada. Photo: AAP
The United Arab Emirates. Photo: Ryan Lim
Reflections on the water at Cornelian Bay, Tasmania. Photo: Nikki Long
The Super Pink Moon rises above the Statue of Liberty in New York City. Photo: Getty
Perth lights up.Photo: Greg Crichton
A seagull flies by in Lorient, western France. Photo: Getty