HONOLULU (KHON2) — Fireworks are over, but there’s another reason to look to the skies this month as a full moon gets closer to Earth — and it’s going to be super!
On Wednesday, July 13, the Moon will be at perigee, its closest to Earth for this orbit. That means it’ll appear bigger and brighter than usual. It will also be the last “supermoon” this year, according to Bishop Museum.
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“As far as timing and best places to view, the Moon rises in the east,” said Tony Smith, Bishop Museum’s Planetarium Supervisor. “Timing will vary a bit depending on if an observer has a clear horizon like on an east facing beach or if they have mountains to their east.”
Moonrise in Hawaii is at 7:52 p.m. on July 13, so for places with mountains blocking the horizon, it will be visible by 8:30 p.m. Smith added that any time after moonrise will be a good time to observe it — the Moon won’t set until about 7 a.m. the next morning.
WHAT’S IN A NAME
The term “supermoon” is not an official name — it was coined in 1979 by an astrologer, not an astronomer. Richard Noelle used the term in reference to both new moons and full moons that occur near perigee, when they’re closest to Earth.
According to NASA, another name for Wednesday’s full moon is the “Buck Supermoon” — a reference to early summer when new antlers are growing on bucks. The last supermoon was in June, also referred to as the “Strawberry Supermoon,” for strawberry harvest time.
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To see Bishop Museum’s calendar of astronomical events in Hawaii, click here.