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Tonight’s giant sturgeon might make you dance in the moonlight – the kind that just happens three to four times a year.
His name is from Algonquin Native American tribe After sturgeon fish more easily caught in the Great Lakes and other bodies of water during this time of year, the sturgeon moon ends the 2022 streak of four supermoons, which began in May, according to the Old farmer’s calendar. After sunset, look toward the southeast to watch the rising of this giant moon. It will reach peak illumination at 9:36 p.m. ET Thursday.
“At certain times of the year, the moon is at its closest point to Earth and these are called supermoons,” Mike Hankey, director of operations for the American Meteor Society, said via email. “It’s just a normal point of the Moon’s orbit. At each end, the Moon is either a little bit bigger or a little smaller (at its farthest), but that’s not much of a difference.”
This closest proximity is called perihelion, and it is only about 226,000 miles (363,300 km) from Earth, according to NASA. That’s why the supermoon also appears brighter than the regular moon. The moon’s distance from Earth changes over the course of the month because its orbit is not a perfect circle, according to the old farmer’s calendar.
If you take a great picture of the supermoon, you can share it on social media with the hashtag #NASAMoonSnap — the phrase NASA uses to track lunar-inspired content until the late summer launch of Artemis I, the first test flight of the rocket and spacecraft that will send future astronauts to the moon, according to NASA’s Tumblr. The agency shared a A guide to photographing the moonIt will share the content of some users on its social media platforms during the launch broadcast.
The sturgeon moon will steal the spotlight from the Perseid meteor shower that peaks Thursday through Saturday.
“Bright moon phases are harmful to meteor showers because they remove faint meteors,” Hanke said. “A full or almost full moon dominates one part of the sky, which makes this part undesirable for meteor observations. The full moon also lasts all night, and does not leave hours of complete darkness, which is preferred.”
The Perseid meteor shower lasts from July 14 to September 1, and this year’s peak will barely occur at 11 p.m. ET on Friday (3:00 a.m. UTC on Saturday), according to the EarthSky. In previous years, the Perseid Islands have been a much-anticipated shower in the northern hemisphere, where they are usually much more visible. But that is only when the moon is not in a phase that dominates the sky.
This year, the Perseid—which grows in number from late evening to early dawn—was most visible in early August when the moon looked smaller and fainter. In previous years, it was more visible in an almost moonless sky.
The shower fragments come from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which takes 133 years to orbit the sun only once, according to NASA. The last time a comet entered the inner solar system was in 1992.
Four more full moons will occur this year, according to Old farmer’s calendar:
- September 10: Harvest Moon
- October 9: Hunter’s Moon
- November 8: Beaver Moon
- December 7: Cold Moon
Other Native American tribes have different names For the full moon, such as the Cheyenne Tribe’s “dry grass moon” for which occurs in September, and the Arapahoe Tribe’s “dry grass moon” for the full moon which occurs in December.
Find out the peak meteor shower events coming later this year, according to EarthSky 2022 meteor shower guide:
- Draconids: October 8-9
- Orionids: October 20-21
- South Torres: November 5
- North Torres: November 12
- Leonids: 17-18 November
- Geminids: December 13-14
- Ursids: December 22-23
And there will be another total lunar eclipse and a partial solar eclipse in 2022, according to Old farmer’s calendar. A partial solar eclipse on October 25 will be visible to people in Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northeastern Africa, the Middle East, western Asia, India and western China.
The total lunar eclipse on November 8 can be seen in Asia, Australia, the Pacific, South America and North America between 3:01 a.m. ET and 8:58 a.m. ET. But for people in eastern North America, the moon will be setting during that time.
Wear appropriate eclipse glasses to view a solar eclipse safely, as sunlight can damage the eyes.
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