Look to the sky on both Thursday and Friday this week and you might see a stunning supermoon, much larger and brighter than usual. It’s known as the Sturgeon Moon.
As you might have noticed, we’ve been writing a fair few articles about supermoons recently and it’s not just because we love them. This time of year there are four or five supermoons in a row because of the way in which the moon orbits the Earth.
The Sturgeon Moon, as it’s known, is the last of these for a while, and there’s something else that makes it particularly special. This supermoon will coincide with a the Perseid meteor shower, which could well be visible from Earth if the sky is clear of clouds.
In Australia, the supermoon will be visible from Thursday evening after 4.20pm AEST and will peak Friday morning at 11.35am AEST. It will also be visible on Friday evening from 5.30pm AEST.
What is a supermoon?
The moon orbits Earth in an elliptical orbit, meaning that it moves around the Earth in an oval shape. In July, when we saw the Buck Moon, it was the closest it ever gets to Earth and at the same time, the moon was full. That’s why it appeared 7% larger and 15% brighter to us on Earth.
On August 12, when we see the Sturgeon Supermoon, it won’t be quite as close to Earth so it won’t appear as large or bright as the Buck Moon. In fact, it will be the third closest moon of the year. However, it’s still considered a supermoon by a fair few astrologers because when astrologer Richard Nolle originally created the term ‘supermoon’ he applied it to new or full moons within a 90% proximity to Earth.