Things to Do

How to See the Biggest Supermoon of the Year Over Arizona Tonight

A supermoon in 2012 seen from southern Arizona.
A supermoon in 2012 seen from southern Arizona. Ken Bosma/CC BY 2.0/Flickr Creative Commons
Do you need a break from the nonstop onslaught of bad news? The latest supermoon will appear in the skies over Arizona tonight, and it will be the biggest and brightest one of 2020.

Best of all, you don’t need to leave your yard to see it.

Supermoons happen several times each year when a full moon is in perigee, or its closest orbital approach to Earth (the last one happened in March).

The cosmic phenomenon causes the moon to appear much bigger and brighter to the human eye, particularly when it rises and sets.

According to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, during April’s supermoon on Tuesday, April 7, the moon will be 221,655 miles away from our planet, approximately 16,000 miles closer than normal. It will appear to be seven percent bigger and 15 percent brighter than a typical full moon.

(Fast fact: It’s also known as the “Pink Supermoon,” since it occurs in April, a time when rosy flowers bloom.)


The moon will begin rising here in Arizona at 6:43 p.m. in the eastern sky. It will appear just above the horizon, and (thanks to the so-called “moon illusion”) will appear to be will noticeably larger at first.

The moon will reach its fullest point about an hour later at 7:36 p.m. It will remain in the sky throughout the night and will set at 6:08 a.m. on Wednesday.

The weather forecast for Tuesday calls for clear skies, which means there won’t be any clouds blocking your view. Enjoy the show.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.