2020 will feature 13 full moons, including 2 supermoons and a rare blue moon

2019 kicked off with 3 straight supermoons, but 2020 is not to be outdone!

News 12 Staff

Jan 6, 2020, 5:50 PM

Updated 1,598 days ago

Share:

In this July 31, 2015 file photo, a blue moon rises behind the torch of the Statue of Liberty seen from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
2019 was a kind year for sky watchers. There were supermoons during each of the year's first three months, with January also yielding a total lunar eclipse.
Well 2020 will try not to be outdone. Of the year's 13 full moons, two will be "super"; one on March 9 (the worm moon) and the other on April 8 (the pink moon). 
And yes, 13 full moons means that one month will have two, the second of which becomes a blue moon by definition. The month? October, with the blue moon falling on Halloween night - spooky, eh?
What is a supermoon?
The name supermoon was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. It is the name given to a moon that becomes full (or new, but the only the full ones garner media attention) when its orbit is closer than average to the Earth. This makes them appear slightly bigger and as much as 30% brighter than a regular full moon.
Supermoons occur much more often than blue moons. But the exact frequency depends on the exact definition of a supermoon, which varies quite a bit in the astronomical community.
Nolle's definition is "a new or full moon which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit (or perigee)." It seems that the majority of astronomers say a supermoon is one that tracks less than 223,000 miles from the Earth during its full phase. Others set the number in kilometers at 360,000 (which translates to a more precise mileage of 223,694).
Regardless of the exact cutoff, many experts say the average star gazer won’t notice the difference in size nor brightness.
April's full moon is notable as it cracks the list of closest supermoons between 2010 and 2020.  It will come a mere 221,772 miles (356,907 km) from Earth! 
 
Dates of each full moon in 2020:


More from News 12
1:59
State police: 2 dead in I-80 crash involving jackknifed tractor-trailer in Hackensack

State police: 2 dead in I-80 crash involving jackknifed tractor-trailer in Hackensack

2:18
STORM WATCH: Summerlike today in New Jersey ahead of thunderstorms on Thursday

STORM WATCH: Summerlike today in New Jersey ahead of thunderstorms on Thursday

1:30
Police: Man shot at Glen Rock’s Wilde Memorial Park

Police: Man shot at Glen Rock’s Wilde Memorial Park

Trial of Sen. Bob Menendez takes a weeklong break after jurors get stuck in elevator

Trial of Sen. Bob Menendez takes a weeklong break after jurors get stuck in elevator

0:33
Lauryn Hill's classic 'Miseducation' album tops list of best albums of all time

Lauryn Hill's classic 'Miseducation' album tops list of best albums of all time

0:23
Biden releasing 1 million barrels of gasoline from New Jersey, Main reserve in bid to lower prices at pump

Biden releasing 1 million barrels of gasoline from New Jersey, Main reserve in bid to lower prices at pump

0:22
Prosecutor: Remains found in Ridgefield Park creek identified as man who went missing in 1982

Prosecutor: Remains found in Ridgefield Park creek identified as man who went missing in 1982

New Jersey State Police 'never meaningfully grappled' with discriminatory practices, official finds

New Jersey State Police 'never meaningfully grappled' with discriminatory practices, official finds

0:32
Local community supporting 'Miracle of Morristown' woman who needed leg amputation after falling onto train tracks

Local community supporting 'Miracle of Morristown' woman who needed leg amputation after falling onto train tracks

0:24
Airbnb crackdown ahead of Memorial Day weekend to prevent ‘disruptive parties’

Airbnb crackdown ahead of Memorial Day weekend to prevent ‘disruptive parties’

1:31
36th Fleet Week kicks off in NYC with Salute to Ships at Fort Hamilton

36th Fleet Week kicks off in NYC with Salute to Ships at Fort Hamilton

1:31
What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's spring frittata

What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's spring frittata

1:21
Law allowing over-the-counter birth control now in effect in New Jersey

Law allowing over-the-counter birth control now in effect in New Jersey

0:39
DOT: Route 71 Bridge connecting Belmar to Avon-By-The-Sea expected to open May 31

DOT: Route 71 Bridge connecting Belmar to Avon-By-The-Sea expected to open May 31

1:31
Grill fire destroys Howell Township home; family escapes unharmed

Grill fire destroys Howell Township home; family escapes unharmed

0:44
Jersey Proud: Kinnelon woman cleans up cemetery ahead of Memorial Day

Jersey Proud: Kinnelon woman cleans up cemetery ahead of Memorial Day

0:45
Paterson holds special event to honor city’s senior citizen residents

Paterson holds special event to honor city’s senior citizen residents

2:06
Vandals steal American flags placed on veterans' gravesites at Neptune cemetery

Vandals steal American flags placed on veterans' gravesites at Neptune cemetery

0:26
Newark police: Queens man accused of filming himself driving recklessly

Newark police: Queens man accused of filming himself driving recklessly

0:40
Authorities seek public’s help solving deadly shooting in Warinanco Park

Authorities seek public’s help solving deadly shooting in Warinanco Park