July 25, 2024

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A huge, bright supermoon to delight stargazers across the UK

A huge, bright supermoon to delight stargazers across the UK

Stargazers across the UK should see a big, bright supermoon on Wednesday night.

The July Full Moon is called the Buck Moon because male deer shed their antlers at this time of year.

The name comes from a Native American system of using the full moons of different months as a calendar, says Anna Ross, an astronomer at the Planetarium at Royal Museums Greenwich in south-east London.

He said: “The best time to see this supermoon is any time on the night of July 13, when the moon will rise in the east after sunset and set in the west just before sunrise.

(PA Charts)

(PA Charts)

“It’s a bright full moon so there’s no specific place you can observe the phenomenon. As long as the night is clear, it’s easy to figure out whether you’re in a light-polluted city or a dark part of the countryside.

A supermoon, he said, is the effect of the full moon when it is closest to Earth in its orbit.

He said it could be because the moon orbits the earth in an elliptical path rather than a circle.

Ross said the Buck Moon, which marks the moon’s closest approach to Earth in 2022, will be the biggest and brightest supermoon of the year.

She said: “A supermoon is when the moon is a bit closer to us, so it looks a bit bigger in the sky.

“The apparent difference between the closest and farthest points of the full moon is only 14%. If you’re on the moon, your brightness doesn’t change, and a little closer looks 30% brighter to us here on Earth.

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“The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 384,400 km, but the Moon will reach its closest point this lunar month on July 13 at 09:08 at a distance of 357,264 km.

“The exact time of the closest full moon to this point is on July 13th, but at 19:37.

“Let’s call this super moon a super buck moon.”

The moon is a beautiful thing – it’s a wonderful thing, go out and enjoy it

Dr. Robert Massey

He says there is no formal limit to how close a full moon must be to Earth to count as a supermoon.

Deputy Managing Director of the Royal Astronomical Society, Dr. Robert Massey said, “It has a lot of supermoons”, but added: “The Moon is a beautiful thing – it’s a wonderful thing, go out and enjoy it.”

On Wednesday, moonrise will be 9:48pm in London, 10:35pm in Edinburgh and 9:24pm in Plymouth, he said.

He added: “So you have to start looking, but to see that, of course you need a perfect horizon, so you have to look at a very flat landscape or the ocean.”