'Super snow moon' stuns as the biggest supermoon of 2019 lights up the sky

Skygazers across the globe have been enjoying the “super snow moon” as the largest supermoon of 2019 lit up the sky.

February’s full moon is known as the “snow moon” as a result of the heavy snowfall that often occurs at that time of year, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. As a result, the Feb. 19 supermoon has been dubbed the “super snow moon.”

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Supermoons occur when the Moon’s orbit brings it to the closest point to Earth while the Moon is full. Photographers were already capturing stunning shots of the supersize Moon on Feb. 18 and early Tuesday morning.

The Empire State building is seen as a super moon rises in New York, United States on February 19, 2019

The Empire State building is seen as a super moon rises in New York, United States on February 19, 2019 (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

“When a full moon appears at perigee [its closest point to Earth] it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon—and that's where we get a ‘supermoon’,” explains NASA, on its website, noting that the phrase was coined in 1979.

The Moon is 221,734 miles from Earth during the super snow moon, according to EarthSky, its closest full moon to Earth in 2019. The average distance between Earth and the Moon is 238,855 miles.

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The Moon appears particularly large when it is close to the horizon thanks to an optical illusion known as “the moon illusion.”

The super snow moon, which is the largest supermoon of 2019, rises behind lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center in New York City on Feb. 19, 2018 as seen from Green Brook Township, New Jersey. (Gary Hershorn/FOX News)

The super snow moon, which is the largest supermoon of 2019, rises behind lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center in New York City on Feb. 19, 2018 as seen from Green Brook Township, New Jersey. (Gary Hershorn/FOX News)

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing and the satellite continues to be a source of fascination for scientists and the general public.

China, for example, recently became the first country to successfully land a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon.

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Israel is set to embark on a historic mission to land a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon.

An Emirates Air Line cable cars is silhouetted against the backdrop of the 'supermoon' in Greenwich, London, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019.

An Emirates Air Line cable cars is silhouetted against the backdrop of the 'supermoon' in Greenwich, London, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)

The unmanned Beresheet spacecraft will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket later this week. Beresheet, which is the Hebrew word for “beginning,” is expected to expected to reach the Moon on April 4.

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The moon rises over the Parthenon on the ancient Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019.

The moon rises over the Parthenon on the ancient Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries told reporters on Monday that the launch is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. ET on Thursday. The launch had been originally slated for last December.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers