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Jan Harris
Deputy Group Editor
3:00 AM 12th July 2022
nature

Another Supermoon In July

Supermoon - Image by christoph1703 from Pixabay
Supermoon - Image by christoph1703 from Pixabay
Every month of the year there is a full moon which illuminates the sky, each of which is given a different name. Full moons occur when the moon is on the opposite side of the earth to the sun and will appear for two to three nights.

The full moons in June, July and August this year are all supermoons.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay
The July full moon in 2022 will rise on Wednesday 13 July and gets its name of Buck Moon because the new antlers start to grow on the buck's forehead around this time of year. Bucks are male deer that shed their antlers and grow new ones every year.

Another name for the July full moon is Thunder Moon because there are frequent thunderstorms in the summer.

Hay Moon and Wort Moon are the Anglo-Saxon names for the July full moon. These names are used because the hay harvest takes place in July and Worts is another name for herbs which are gathered and dried at this time of year.

Different types of moons
Blue Moon – when a full moon occurs twice in the same month
Harvest Moon – this is around the autumnal equinox when farmers do most of their harvesting
Supermoon – Supermoons are said to appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual.
Blood Moon – occurs during a total lunar eclipse


Image by Roger Purdie from Pixabay
Image by Roger Purdie from Pixabay
Why a full moon?

Full moons occur every 29.5 days or so as the moon moves to the side of Earth directly opposite the sun, reflecting the sun's rays off its full face and appearing as a brilliant, perfectly circular disk.

A full moon occurs when the moon's earth-facing side is completely illuminated by the sun. Scientists say that when you see the moon looking really large as it rises in the sky your brain is actually playing a trick on you.

There are many reasons as to why this is, but the main theory is that when the moon is low on the horizon it can be compared to earthly things, like buildings and trees, and this is why it seems huge.

Full moons in 2022
photo by Rob Harris
photo by Rob Harris
Wolf Moon - 17 January
Snow Moon – 16 February
Worm Moon – 18 March
Pink Moon – 16 April
Flower Moon – 16 May (lunar eclipse)
Strawberry Moon – 14 June
Buck Moon – 13 July
Sturgeon Moon – 12 August
Corn/Harvest Moon – 10 September
Hunter’s Moon – 9 October
Beaver Moon – 8 November
Cold Moon – 8 December


Why a supermoon?

A supermoon is when you look up at the night sky and the full moon looks so close you feel as if you could almost touch it, although sometimes the difference is hard to spot with the naked eye.

This is called a moon illusion as the full moon appears much larger when it rises behind a distant object on the horizon.

When the moon is closest to the earth a supermoon occurs. A supermoon will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than usual. A supermoon looks especially large when rising and setting.

The moon will be 30,000 miles closer than usual. It sounds a lot, but the average distance between the earth and moon is 238,900 miles, so it’s not that huge a difference.

If you go outside on the night of a full supermoon you should actually notice that it is exceptionally bright.

According to the US space agency the term supermoon was first coined back in 1979 and is now quite commonly used.

Image by Cristian Ferronato from Pixabay
Image by Cristian Ferronato from Pixabay

Supermoons in 2022
14 June - Strawberry Moon
13 July - Buck Moon
11 August - Sturgeon Moon


How did the moon names originate?

There are a total of 12 full moon phases during the annual lunar cycle plus the occasional Blue Moon and each full moon has a unique name.

Many of these ancient moon names have been given based on the behaviour of the plants, animals, or weather during that month.

It is said that they were the names given by Native American tribes and included into our modern calendar. However the full moon names we now use also have Anglo-Saxon and Germanic roots.

Some interesting moon facts:
The moon's diameter is 2,160 miles
The sun and moon are not the same size
The moon's surface is dark
The moon has quakes
There is water on the moon
The moon has a very thin atmosphere
A person would weigh less on the moon
The dark side of the moon is a myth
We only see the near side of the moon, the other side is the far side


The best time to see the full moon in the UK is in the evening after sunset as that is when the moon is closest to the earth. So let's hope we get some clear sky to be able to see the supermoon, but it will be exceptionally large and bright for a few days around the peak.

The next full moon will rise on Friday 12 August and is the Sturgeon Moon