You don’t need to be the James Webb telescope to see stunning heavenly beauties in the sky – at least not this week. Look upwards with your own naked eyes this week and you’ll be able to see a celestial sight to behold: the buck moon–a supermoon that appears larger than the moon’s usual size we’re all used to seeing. Here’s what you need to know about July’s buck moon:
- What is a buck moon? According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, a buck moon is the full moon of July. Why is it called a buck moon? Because July is when male deer, called bucks, shed their existing antlers, only to regrow them at a larger size. The buck moon is also known as the thunder moon and the hay moon.
- Why is it called a supermoon? A buck moon isn’t always a supermoon–it just happens to be this year. That’s because this buck moon coincides with the moon being within 90% of its perigee, or closet range to the earth. When the moon is near perigee, it appears between 17% and 30% larger than it does when it’s farthest away, reports NPR.
- When is the best time to view the buck supermoon? Technically, the “best” time has passed. The was at 5:06 a.m. EDT this morning, says NASA. However, all is not lost. The space agency notes that at 2:38 p.m. EDT this afternoon, July 13, 2022, the moon will be in its full moon phase, so once the sun sets it will look like a supermoon because it’s still within its perigee.
- So there’s still time to see the buck supermoon? Yep. NASA says the buck moon will appear full for the next three days – until early Friday morning, July 15. So that means you still have tonight and Thursday night to go out and look up at the sky to see a truly wondrous sight.