What is a Supermoon?
A term coined in the late 70s, it represents when the moon’s orbit is at the closest point to the Earth while the moon is in a full moon phase of the lunar cycle. The moon orbits the Earth in the shape of an ellipse. The furthest point of the ellipse orbit is called an apogee, while the closest point of the ellipse orbit is called a perigee. A supermoon happens when a full moon is located at a perigee, where the full moon is within 90% of its closest possible orbit to Earth.
The Buck Supermoon!
This week was the start of our third supermoon of 2022. From Tuesday, July 12th to Friday, July 15th the full moon will appear a bit larger and brighter than it normally would! The full moon in July has been commonly nicknamed the Buck Moon because it is the time of year where bucks, or male deer, start to experience full antler growth. The Buck Supermoon will be the biggest and brightest supermoon of 2022, so get outside and stargaze this week!
More Fun Facts about Supermoons!
- The closest (or largest appearing) supermoon of the 21st century will be on December 6th, 2052
- Each full moon has many nicknames. The Buck Moon nickname became the most popular when the Old Farmer’s Almanac started using it. The Buck Moon can also be called the Thunder Moon or Mead Moon.
- NASA releases these full moon guides that detail all the fun celestial events happening! Here is the guide for June and July. Here is the guide for July and August!
- A full moon occurs once each lunar cycle, meaning about once a month. So, there are about 12-13 full moons a year. There are usually only 3-4 supermoons a year.
Send us your Buck Supermoon pictures from this week on Twitter!