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Not Everyone Is Happy About the Upcoming Supermoon

The fourth and final full moon of 2022 will occur this Thursday, August 11th at approximately 9:36 p.m. EDT and 6:36 p.m. PDT (Friday at 01:36 GMT).
Full moon 6 photos
Commonly known as the Sturgeon Supermoon, the lunar show can be seen in the southeastern sky to the lower right (or 5 degrees to the celestial south) of Saturn, The name Sturgeon Moon comes from the North American Algoquin Indan tribe naming it because of the abundance of sturgeon found in rivers and lakes at that time of year.

Unfortunately for some celestial enthusiasts, Thursday's supermoon will clash with the ongoing Perseids meteor shower. The supermoon will be the brightest subject in the sky and wash out all but the brightest Perseids as they streak across the sky. Additionally, as the full moon phase subsides, the Perseids will begin to wane August 21-22 and cease completely by September 1st.

Normally, people in North America would see 50 to 60 meteors per hour, however, with the presence of the supermoon only 10 to 20 per hour will be visible.

A full moon occurs approximately every 29.5 days, which is the length of time of one whole lunar phase cycle. The full moon is the lunar phase when the sun is directly across from the moon, leaving it fully illuminated from Earth's perspective.

By comparison, supermoons occur when the full moon lunar cycle coincides with the moon's closest approach to the earth in its orbit, known as perigree. Occurring four times a year, a super moon is defined as a full moon within 90% of its closest approach to the earth.

This year four consecutive supermoons in May, June, July, and this week's Sturgeon Moon will have taken place. These supermoon streaks are not all that uncommon, according to eclipse expert and retired NASA astrophysicist Fred Espanak. His website states there will be four consecutive supermoons in 2023 and 2024, and three consecutive supermoons in 2025.


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