Astronomer David Reneke says the moon will be bigger and brighter than normal on April 8

Supermoon: Wauchope-based astronomer David Reneke says residents should get a cracking view of the supermoon from around 6pm on Wednesday April 8.
Supermoon: Wauchope-based astronomer David Reneke says residents should get a cracking view of the supermoon from around 6pm on Wednesday April 8.

An amateur astrologer was looking to coin a catchy tag for the larger-than-normal moon he was seeing through his telescope.

Forty years later, Richard Nolle's phrase 'supermoon' continues to be used.

World renowned astronomer and Mid North Coast Astronomy Group member David Reneke says the term has simply stuck.

"Nolle was just looking for a word to describe what he was seeing for an article he was writing," Mr Reneke said.

"So we have simply carried over with it; it's just a catchy term that we all use now."

Port Macquarie-Hastings residents will be able to catch a glimpse of the supermoon on Wednesday, April 8.

Residents should see a substantial difference in the size of the moon as it rises from around 6pm, Mr Reneke said.

"Hastings residents will be treated to the biggest, brightest full moon on Wednesday night.

"It is a supermoon simply because it is closer to the earth than it has been in a long time.

"The moon will be some 15 per cent bigger and about 30 per cent brighter than normal.

"It will be so bright that at midnight you should be able to read a newspaper in your backyard," he said.

The moon will be some 15 per cent bigger and about 30 per cent brighter than normal.

David Reneke

The term pink supermoon can also be associated with this phenomenon because the colour is associated with a native North American wild flower that blossoms in Spring. The wild flower has a vivid pink hue.

Mr Reneke says there are a few tips in how to get the best view of Wednesday night's supermoon.

"It is important that you have a clear view of the sky with the moon appearing to have an orange tinge to it.

"As it climbs higher in the night sky the colour will gradually shift back to its traditional colour."

Fishos will be keen to drop a line too: the supermoon brings with it higher tides.

"There's an old saying that says king tides, king catch," Mr Reneke added.

Supermoons are relatively rare because the moon's orbital path around the Earth is elliptical instead of circular, meaning that full moons rarely occur when the moon is also at its perigee.

Rather, most full moons occur when the moon is further away from the Earth, making it seem dimmer and not quite as big as it does during a supermoon.

And if you're thinking of taking a picture to mark the occasion, just be aware that you'll need proper equipment, such as a camera with a long telephoto lens, as the moon captured on a phone will look more like a blob, Mr Reneke said.

You can check out David Reneke's website for more information.

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