July Full Moon – The closest and brightest of this year
The Buck or Thunder Moon is visible today.
This moon is a perigee moon or what is now commonly called a supermoon. Perigee is the point at which the moon is closest to Earth. This is because the moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle, but more of an ellipse. At the other end of the scale is the apogee moon, or micromoon. That’s a difference of just over 27,000 miles between the orbital points.
Now the term supermoon isn’t an official astronomical term. It was coined by an astrologer back in the late 1970s. It’s used to describe some of the closer orbits of the year. This particular one just happens to be the closest for this year. You might also hear that supermoons are larger or brighter. Yes, that’s true but to the casual observer, that’s really hard to tell. Supermoons happen about three to four times a year, and this one will be the third one of 2022.
When you compare a moon in perigee with one in apogee, the closer orbit will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter. The moon always looks larger when it’s closer to the horizon too. That’s known as the moon illusion. It will then appear smaller as it rises higher in the sky. So, be sure to catch it as it rises Wednesday evening for the best view.
The closest full moon in recent memory was back on Nov. 14, 2016. The closest before that was in January of 1948 and an even closer one was back in Jan. 1912. Now in Nov. 2034, that full moon will be the closest of them all. Something to look forward to.
In the meantime, let’s hope for some nice clear skies this week to see the Full Buck, Thunder Moon!
Check out some cool celestial photos!
Submit your own moon photos below.