New Jersey skies will be brighter with July’s supermoon
Expect the next full moon to be a little brighter than normal; it’s a “supermoon”, the first full supermoon of the year. It’s called the Super Buck Moon because this is the time of year that male deer get their antlers.
Supermoons occur because the moon’s distance from Earth varies throughout its orbit. That’s because its orbit is elliptical. The moon is closest to Earth at perigee and farthest at apogee. When a full moon coincides with perigee it’s called a supermoon. When the moon is at perigee it’s about 14% larger and 30% brighter than when it is at apogee.
The Native American names for full moons were published by the Maine Farmer's Almanac back in the 1930s, and each one is significant to the time of year, according to NASA. It is also referred to as the Thunder Moon because thunderstorms begin in early summer.
There are three more supermoons coming in 2023:
August 1: Super Sturgeon Moon
August 31: Super Blue Moon
September 29: Super Harvest Moon
However, although it’s the first, the “Super Buck Moon” is the smallest supermoon of the four in 2023 at 361,934 kilometers from Earth.
A full moon is best viewed when it rises soon after sunset, so during dusk. Although the “Super Buck Moon” will officially be 100% illuminated at 6:40 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 3, the best time to view it will be moonrise, which in New Jersey will be at 8:22 PM.
According to EarthSky, any pair of binoculars will get you a terrific close-up, you don’t need any extra equipment or knowledge to view a rising full moon.
Get to a place that has a good view facing east, preferably a couple of flights up so that you can see down to the horizon.
All you then need to do is be there at the right time to see the first glimpse of an orange orb appearing along the horizon.
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