Where and when to watch the biggest supermoon of the year? Dates, times...
The third supermoon this year will take to the sky on Wednesday, and it will be the biggest of the year. Here is when you can see the heavenly sight.
As the Moon makes its way around the Earth, its orbit isn’t a perfect circle so sometimes it’s further away and at other times it gets closer. On 13 July it will be at its closest point in 2022 and those who look up to the sky will have a chance to see the ‘Buck’ supermoon.
The moon will be at its closest approach at approximately 5 am ET, but it won’t officially be a ‘full moon’ until 2:38 pm ET. But if you aren’t an early bird, it will appear like a full moon for roughly three days, starting early Tuesday morning through to early Friday morning according to NASA.
When and how to see the July supermoon
The Old Farmer’s Almanac provides a handy moonrise and moonset calculator for locations in the United States that you can use to catch the Moon while it is near the horizon. This is probably the optimal time to view a supermoon as it will truly seem bigger than normal thanks to the ‘big moon illusion’.
If you are looking to catch the perfect photo of the supermoon there are some tools that can help you. For your smartphone there is a useful app, PhotoPills, available for iOS and Android. So that you can make the most of using the app PetaPixel gives a walk through of the app’s features.
Why is it called the ‘Buck’ moon?
The Maine Farmer’s Almanac started publishing Native American names for full moons, which are also applied to the whole month, in the 1930s. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has continued the tradition to this day.
In the case of the July, the ‘Buck’ moon traces its origins back to the Algonquin tribes of the Great Lakes region. During the early summer months, the male deer’s annual antler growth is occurring at full clip. However, other cultures have given July’s moon a range of different names.
What is a supermoon?
Supermoons occur when the moon is full at the same time as its closest approach to Earth in its elliptical orbit, or perigee. A full moon is considered a supermoon, not an official astronomical term, when it comes within 90 percent of perigee. They always appear consecutively happening three or four times a year.
According to NASA: “Different publications use slightly different thresholds for deciding when a full moon is close enough to the Earth to qualify as a supermoon.” Because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle, the moon is sometimes closer to the Earth than at other times during its orbit. This year some publications are only recognizing two supermoons in 2022, the ones in June and July.
On average, supermoons appear about 7 percent bigger and about 15 percent brighter than a typical full moon. Compared to the moon at its faintest, a supermoon is roughly 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter.
The final supermoon of 2022 will happen Thursday 11 August, known as the ‘Sturgeon Moon’.