PHOTOS: 2020’s Biggest, Brightest Supermoon Shines Over South Africa

Tonight there’s something beautiful to brighten our locked down lives – 2020’s biggest, brightest Supermoon of the year is shining over South Africa. And regular SAPeople contributors Andrea Ben in Johannesburg and Ed Robbins and Andrew Gorman in Cape Town have captured it making its way across SA’s night sky.

supermoon cape town
Supermoon shining brightly in Cape Town tonight. Photo: Ed Robbins

Andrea said it has been a magical sunset in Gauteng, followed by the full Supermoon.

sunset sa
Joburg’s magical sunset before the full moon, supermoon.

Last month – on 9 March 2020 – South Africa was graced with the first full moon Supermoon of the year which was called the ‘Worm Moon’ (named by Native Americans in North America for it marking the time of year when earthworms appears as the ground starts to warm).

supermoon full moon joburg
Supermoon over Johannesburg, South Africa

April’s Supermoon however is even bigger and brighter, and this month’s full moon is called the Pink Moon by Native Americans after the moss pink wildflowers that start to grow during springtime in the US. According to CNN other names also refer to the start of spring – ‘sprouting grass moon’ and ‘egg moon’.

south africa supermoon

Despite being called the Pink Moon, it’s colour is more likely to be golden because of an effect caused by the earth’s atmosphere, as captured here by Western Cape photographer Andrew Gorman, as the moon glided across Cape Town’s sky:

pink supermoon cape town

pink supermoon cape town

According to astrophysicists, a full moon is at 100% illumination and is the sky’s brightest object – 2,000 times brighter than the second brightest object, the planet Venus.

Supermoon shining brightly in Cape Town tonight
Cape Town’s big and bright super moon tonight

What makes tonight’s full moon a supermoon is that the moon reaches its closest point to Earth during its elliptical orbit. Supermoons are particularly ‘super’ because they’re about 7% larger and 15% brighter than ‘ordinary’ full moons.

supermoon joburg 2020
Joburg’s supermoon

There are only four supermoons this year. The next will be in May.

Groot Brakrivier, Mossel Bay:


Posted by Jeanette Smith on Tuesday, April 7, 2020