The last supermoon of the summer and the Perseid meteor shower take to the celestial stage tonight

Today’s sturgeon supermoon could have you dancing in the moonlight — the kind that only comes around three to four times a year.

Named by the Native American Algonquin tribe for sturgeon fish, which are more easily caught in the Great Lakes and other waters at this time of year, the sturgeon moon ends the series of four supermoons in 2022 that began in May, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. After sunset, face the southeast to watch this super moonrise. Maximum illumination is achieved at 9:36 p.m. ET on Thursday.

“At certain times of the year, the moon is closest to Earth and these are called supermoons,” Mike Hankey, operations director of the American Meteor Society, said via email. “It’s just a natural point of the moon’s orbit. At each extreme, the moon is either a little bit larger or a little bit smaller (at its farthest point), but it’s not a huge difference.”

This closest proximity is called perigee and is only about 226,000 miles (363,300 kilometers) from Earth, according to NASA. That’s why a super moon appears a bit brighter than a normal full moon. The Moon’s distance from Earth changes throughout the month because its orbit is not a perfect circle, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

If you snap a cool photo of the supermoon, you can share it on social media with the hashtag #NASAMoonSnap — the phrase NASA uses to track lunar-inspired content leading up to the launch of Artemis I in late summer, the first test, conduct flight of the rocket and spacecraft that will send future astronauts to the moon, according to NASA’s Tumblr. The agency has shared a guide to photographing the moon and will be sharing some user content on their social media platforms during the launch broadcast.

The sturgeon moon will steal the spotlight for the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks Thursday through Saturday.

CLOCK | Time-lapse video shows Perseid meteor shower in Indiana

“Bright moon phases are bad for meteor showers because they wash out the fainter meteors,” Hankey said. “A portion of the sky is dominated by a full or near-full moon, making that portion undesirable for observing meteors. The full moon also lasts all night, leaving no hours of total darkness, which is preferred.”

The Perseid meteor shower lasts from July 14 through September 1, and this year’s barely visible peak will occur Friday at 11:00 p.m. ET (3:00 a.m. UTC Saturday), according to EarthSky. For the past few years, the Perseids have been a much-anticipated shower in the northern hemisphere, where they’re usually more visible. But that’s only if the moon isn’t in a phase that dominates the sky.

This year, the Perseids, which increase in number from late evening to early dawn, were more visible in early August when the moon appeared smaller and fainter. In previous years, they were best seen in a nearly moonless sky.

Fragments of the shower come from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which NASA says takes 133 years to orbit the sun just once. The comet last entered the inner solar system in 1992.

Remaining space events in 2022

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, there will be four more full moons this year:

  • 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 moons, such as For example, the Cheyenne tribe’s “drying grass moon” for the September full moon and the Arapaho tribe’s “cracking trees” for the December full moon.

Catch the peak of these upcoming meteor shower events later this year, according to EarthSky’s 2022 Meteor Shower Guide:

  • Draconids: 8th-9th Centuries October
  • Orionids: 20th-21st October
  • South Taurids: November 5th
  • Northern Taurids: November 12th
  • Leonids: 17th-18th Centuries November
  • Gemini: 13th-14th December
  • Ursids: 22.-23. December

And according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, there will be another total lunar eclipse and partial solar eclipse in 2022. The partial solar eclipse on October 25 will be visible to people in Greenland, Iceland, Europe, Northeast Africa, the Middle East, western Asia, India, and western China.

The November 8 total lunar eclipse can be seen in Asia, Australia, the Pacific, South America, and North America between 3:01am ET and 8:58am ET. But for the people of eastern North America, the moon will set during this time.

Wear proper eclipse glasses to see solar eclipses safely, as the sunlight can damage the eye.

The CNN Wire

& 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia company. All rights reserved. The last supermoon of the summer and the Perseid meteor shower take to the celestial stage tonight

Laura Coffey

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