The second of two consecutive “supermoons” will shine brightly in the night sky this week, as the full “male moon” of July 2022 rises and offers skywatchers a special summertime treat.
Here are a few things to know about the July full moon, when to see it, and why it’s so unique among this year’s moons.
What day will the July moon be full?
The first full moon of the summer season (the June moon became full a week before the summer solstice) will officially reach its fullest phase at 2:37 p.m. EST on Wednesday, July 13. It will therefore be the largest and the brightest. when it rises above the horizon Wednesday evening.
If this isn’t a good viewing option for you, keep in mind that the moon will appear 98% full on Tuesday evening, July 12, and will be 99% illuminated on Thursday, July 14.
The July supermoon will begin rising in the southeast sky over Newark and New York at 9 p.m. Wednesday and set around 6:10 a.m. Thursday, according to TimeAndDate.com. The near-full moon will rise again at 9:48 p.m. Thursday and set at 7:32 a.m. Friday.
For moonrise and moonset times in your city or town, check this schedule.
Astronomy enthusiasts consider a supermoon to be one that becomes full when its elliptical orbit is closer to Earth than an average full moon. As a result, it may appear 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 is within 223,000 miles of Earth at the closest point in its orbit, known as the perigee name. TimeAndDate.com, which writes extensively about major celestial events, uses 223,694 miles (or 360,000 kilometers) as the benchmark for supermoons.
Because different experts use different distances, some classify more moons as supermoons and others classify fewer. In 2022, more and more experts seem to agree that the July full moon will be the second of two supermoons this year (June was the other).
But some considered the May full moon a supermoon and some place the August moon in the same classification, bringing the annual total to four.
Whatever the number, depending on its distance from Earth when it becomes full, the July 13 moon will be the closest of the year – at 222,089 miles – making it the closest full moon. biggest and brightest of 2022.
Native American Algonquin tribes in what is now the eastern region of the United States dubbed this full moon the “male moon,” according to NASA and the Old Farmer’s Almanac, because it was during this time of the year. year that the new antlers of the male deer – male – are in full growth phase.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac and its rival publication, the Farmers’ Almanac, say the July Moon is also called the “Thunder Moon”, due to the frequency of thunderstorms that strike during this hot summer month. She has also been called the “Hay Moon”.
Other Native American tribes dubbed this moon as follows, translated directly into English:
- “Ripe Corn Moon” – Cherokee Tribe
- “Midsummer Moon” – Ponca Tribe
- “Moon when the branches of the trees are broken by the fruits” – Zuni tribe
Once the July full moon completes its lunar cycle, the next full moon will shine in the sky on Thursday, August 11. The so-called “sturgeon moon” will officially be full that day at 9:35 p.m.
Don’t forget to look for the Perseids, known as one of the best meteor showers of the year. This shower will begin with sporadic shooting stars on July 14, but won’t peak until the second week of August, according to the American Meteor Society.
This summer’s Perseids are expected to be most active during the night of August 11 until the early morning hours of August 12. However, the timing will be bad for skywatchers, as the moon will be 100% full.
The American Meteor Society says people in dark rural areas, away from the glow of city lights, can typically see up to 60 to 75 meteors per hour during peak time. But the brightness of the full moon in August will likely reduce the visibility of shooting stars, especially faint ones.
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Len Melisurgo can be reached at LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com.