July’s supermoon will be 14,000 miles closer to Earth than a typical full moon event
The first of four supermoons to rise in 2023, July’s lunar display will appear to be brighter in the night sky than any other full moon event that has occurred this year.
The full moon will rise on Monday, July 3, and reach peak illumination below the horizon at 7:39 a.m. ET, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Local weather conditions allowing, you can view the celestial event by looking to the southeast after the sun sets.
“A supermoon is when the moon appears a little bit bigger in our sky,” said Dr. Shannon Schmoll, director of the Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University. “As the moon goes around the Earth, it’s not a perfect circle. So, there are points in its orbit where it’s a little bit closer or a little bit farther from the Earth.”
When the orb reaches its full moon phase at a point in its path where it is closer to the Earth, it appears to be slightly larger and a supermoon occurs, Schmoll explained. While the size difference between a supermoon and a typical full moon may not be immediately apparent to the naked eye, The Old Farmer’s Almanac says the first full moon of summer will be more luminous and 224,895.4 miles (361,934 kilometers) from Earth.
This month’s moon is also known as the buck moon. July is typically when male deer’s antlers grow during an annual cycle of shedding and regrowth, according to the almanac.
There are several other names for the buck moon that come from Native American peoples, according to Western Washington University. Names like hot moon refer to summer weather while terms like raspberry moon and ripe corn moon signify the best times for harvesting fruit and other crops.