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.