The second of two consecutive “supermoons” will glow brightly in the night sky this week, as the full “buck moon” in July 2022 rises and gives celestials a special summer treat.
Here are some things you should know about the July full moon, when to see it and why it is so unique among this year’s moons.
What day will the month of July be full?
The first full moon of the summer season (June became full one week before the summer solstice) will officially reach its full phase at 14:37 Eastern time on Wednesday 13 July. So it will be at its biggest and brightest when it rises above the horizon on Wednesday night.
If it’s not a good viewing option for you, remember that the moon will see 98% full on Tuesday night, July 12, and have 99% illumination on Thursday, July 14.
The July supermoon will begin to rise in the southeastern sky over Newark and New York City at 9 p.m. Wednesday, and will set around 6 a.m. on Thursday, according to TimeAndDate.com. The almost full moon will rise again at 21.48 on Thursday and set at 07.32 on Friday.
Check this moonrise and sunset schedule for your city or town.
Astronomy enthusiasts consider a supermoon to be a full moon when its elliptical orbit is closer to Earth than an average full moon. As a result, it may appear to be slightly larger and up to 30% brighter than usual – especially when it begins to rise above the horizon or if atmospheric conditions are ideal.
Many astronomy enthusiasts, including those at Sky & Telescope magazine, believe that a supermoon is a full moon that tracks less than 223,000 miles from Earth at the nearest point in its orbit, known as the perigee. TimeAndDate.com, which writes extensively about major celestial events, uses 223,694 miles (360,000 kilometers) as a measure of supermoon.
Because different experts use different distances, some classify more moons as supermoons and some classify fewer. In 2022, several experts seem to agree that the July full moon will be the second of only two supermons this year (June was the second).
However, some considered the full moon to be a supermoon, and some put the August moon into the same classification, increasing the annual total to four.
Regardless of the number, based on the distance from the earth at the time it becomes full, the July 13 moon will be the closest of the year – 222,089 miles away – making it the largest and brightest full moon in 2022.
The Native American Algonquin tribes in what is now the eastern region of the United States called this full moon the “buck moon,” according to NASA and Old Farmer’s Almanac, because this time of year is when the new antlers of the male deer – bucks – are in full growth phase.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac and its rival publication, Farmers’ Almanac, say that the month of July is also called the “thunderstorm”, due to the frequency of thunderstorms that hit this hot summer month. It has also been called the “high moon”.
Other Native American tribes gave this moon the nickname the following, translated directly into English:
- “Ripe corn moon” – the Cherokee tribe
- “The middle of the summer moon” – the Ponca tribe
- “Moon when limbs of trees are broken by fruit” – Zuni trunk
After the full moon of July completes its lunar cycle, the next full moon will glow in the sky on Thursday 11 August. The so-called “big moon” will officially be full that day at 21:35
Do not forget to look for the Perseids – known as one of the best meteor showers of the year. This shower will start with occasional shooting stars on July 14, but it will not peak until the second week in August, according to the American Meteor Society.
This summer’s Perseids are expected to be most active on the night of 11 August into the early morning hours of 12 August. However, the timing will be bad for celestials, because the moon will be 100% full.
The American Meteor Society says that people in dark rural areas, away from the light of city lights, can usually see as many as 60 to 75 meteors per hour in high season. But the brightness of the full moon in August is likely to reduce the visibility of shooting stars, especially the faint ones.
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Len Melisurgo can be reached at LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com.