See Thursday’s Third, Final And Most Dramatic ‘Supermoon’ Of 2022 Rise Into Summer Skies -

See Thursday’s Third, Final And Most Dramatic ‘Supermoon’ Of 2022 Rise Into Summer Skies

If you want to see a full Moon rising in all of its glory, you have to get your timing absolutely right. However, if you want to see a “supermoon” appear in the east just after dusk then you need to be even more precise.

Best seen this Thursday evening, this month’s full Moon is one of those rare supermoons, which only occur between two and four times per year.

In fact, August’s “Sturgeon Moon” (yes, it’s a ridiculous name) is the final supermoon of 2022. The next one is an entire 12 months away.

What are ‘supermooons?’

Supermoons occur because the Moon has a slightly elliptical orbit around earth. So there is a point every single month when it is at its closest to our planet and thus looks slightly larger in the sky.

Emphasis on slightly. At about 7-14% larger, it’s actually almost impossible to tell that a supermoon is bigger than a regular full Moon.

Why this full Moon may be particularly dramatic

The full “Sturgeon Moon” this year coincides with the peak of the the Perseids, so it may be possible to see “Earth-grazer” shooting stars as twilight turns into night. Look low to the northeast and you may just get lucky.

So why all the fuss about supermoons and, in particular, this week’s “Super Sturgeon Moon?” There are four reasons why you should catch this week’s full Moon—and it must be at a very specific time.

The full Moon looks its best as it rises

By definition a full Moon is visible all night long since it rises in the east as the Sun sets in the west, and vice versa the next morning. However, just going outside at some point during the evening to look at the full Moon isn’t good enough. You need to see it as it appears above the eastern horizon.

As it does so it won’t appear like a grey-white orb that’s too bright to look at—as it will most of the night—but instead you’ll see it as a muted orange orb that you can easily see detail on. In short, it’s utterly gorgeous.

Find out the exact moonrise and moonset for your location this Thursday, August 11, 2022 and get somewhere with a clear view to the east/east north east horizon, they’ll be prepared to wait a few minutes for it to appear. Bring binoculars!

There’s a higher chance of clear horizon

It goes without saying that you need a clear, cloud three horizon to see the full Moon appear in all of its glory. Generally speaking, clear skies are more likely in the northern hemisphere at this time of year, though that will depend on where you live.

Sunset is around 8 pm across North America and Europe at the moment, with moonrise shortly after (though the moon rises about 15 minutes later each night, so this only applies to August 11, 2022).

The ‘Moon illusion’

This is a slightly weird phenomena that is hard to explain, but perhaps the most important reason why you need to get outside and see this weeks supermoon rising. It has to do with how the human brain handles context.

Go look at a full Moon high in the sky and it will look pretty small. In fact, if you hold out your hand you can put your little finger over the Moon and block it’s light. However, with the moon close to the horizon everything changes. Our natural satellite doesn’t get any bigger, but it does appear to. That’s because when you’re looking at the full Moon rising next to buildings, trees, houses and mountains your brain gets context and compares the size of the Moon to what’s around it. That makes the Moon seem bigger.

When is the next ‘supermoon?’

There will be two supermoons in 2023—August 1, 2023, and August 31, 2023. That makes the second one a “Blue Moon” because it will be the second full Moon in the same calendar month.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

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