July’s full moon has a name you won’t soon forget – the Full Buck Supermoon – and you won’t be able to miss it in the sky either because for several nights the moon will appear full before the main event.
Summer is in full swing — as is the heat – but that means more time for sky gazing and enjoying the celestial shows above. June had the Strawberry Moon which was a special treat for the eyes, but July’s full moon is a supermoon, meaning it is closer in its orbit to Earth, making it appear larger and brighter in the sky.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the July 2022 supermoon will also appear farther south in the sky, adding to its enlarged appearance. The moon will be 222,089 miles away from Earth during its closest approach, about 17,000 miles closer than it is on average, according to NASA.
On Wednesday, July 13 at 5:06 a.m. EDT, the moon will be at perigee, its closest to Earth during its orbit. While that is an early or late start depending on your bedtime, according to NASA, the moon will appear full for three days between Tuesday and Friday morning, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it.
What’s with the name?
July’s full moon is known as the Buck Moon because between June and July male deer antlers undergo a period of rapid growth and will appear at their largest. Antlers can grow up to 2 inches per week for older bucks, according to Mississippi State University’s Deer Ecology and Management Lab.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, other names for the full moon come from Native American sources, including the Salmon Moon and Feather Moulting Moon.
Plan your photo opportunity
About a week away from the full moon, amateur and professional photographers alike are already planning the supermoon shots they’d like to get this year.
Unlike, meteor showers or looking for constellations, getting away from city lights is not required to enjoy the supermoon, which means a good opportunity to make some creative photos of the moon with different backgrounds and landscapes. The photo above of June’s full Strawberry moon is a good example of creatively framing a shot.
The Buck Moon photographed below was taken on July 16, 2019, which happened to be the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The forecast will play a big role in what kind of photos you get of the supermoon. Unfortunately, July is the nation’s second-most-active month for damaging thunderstorm winds.
Storms and cloud cover are a definite possibility for several regions of the U.S. next week. The southeast, southwest and southern Plains may have a hard time seeing the supermoon through the clouds on July 13 and July 14, but remember the moon will appear full for several days.