Keep an eye on the sky tonight as a Buck Supermoon makes its appearance.
PHOTO: Twitter, NASA
According to NASA, this morning, July 13, 2022, at 5:06 a.m. EDT, the Moon was at its perigee or its closest position to the Earth for this orbit. The term "supermoon" refers to either a new or full moon that occurs when the Moon is within 90% of perigee, its closest approach to Earth.
The Farmer's Almanac explains the terminology behind the Buck Supermoon; "The antlers of the male deer (bucks) are in full-growth mode at this time. Bucks shed and regrow their antlers each year, producing a larger and more impressive set as the years go by."
NASA has chronicled the Moon's progression today; "The next full moon will be this afternoon at 2:38 p.m. EDT. Since this is less than 10 hours after perigee, this will be a supermoon. The Moon will appear full for about three days, from early Tuesday morning through early Friday morning."
Supermoons are the fullest and brightest moons of the year. If you pay close attention to the sky surrounding the Moon, you may also notice two bright stars almost directly overhead. These are Vega and Arcturus.
"Vega, the 5th brightest star in our night sky, is about 25 light-years from Earth. It is about twice the mass of our Sun but shines 40 times brighter. Arcturus, the 4th brightest star in our night sky, is about 37 light-years from Earth. Arcturus has used up its core hydrogen and become a red giant, swelling to about 25 times its previous size and shining about 170 times brighter than the Sun. Our Sun is about halfway through this lifecycle and is expected to become a red giant in about 5 billion years," describes NASA.
The Sun will set at 8:41 this evening, so be on the lookout for photo-worthy shots. The sky should remain clear to provide an optimal view.