Summer nights just got a whole lot brighter thanks to a supermoon illuminating the skies this week.
The moon gets the “super” prefix when a full moon is at its closest to Earth — or perigee — in its 27-day orbit.
The moon will reach perigee at 5:06 a.m. EDT Wednesday and officially be a full moon at 2:38 p.m. EDT, but it will shine bright for much of the week, according to NASA.
“The moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from early Tuesday morning through early Friday morning,” the agency wrote.
Supermoons appear about 30% brighter and 14% larger than the dimmest, farthest moon because of a combination of the moon’s proximity to Earth and reflection of light.
July’s supermoon will appear to be the biggest and brightest of the year, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, based on its low position in the sky and shorter distance to Earth than others.
This supermoon is also known as a Buck Moon, a name given by the Algonquin tribes of the Northeast because it occurred at the time of year when the antlers of male deer are at their fullest point of new growth, according to the Maine Farmer’s Almanac.
There are usually only three or four supermoons in an entire year. This month’s comes on the heels of the June 14 Strawberry Supermoon (and some publications consider May’s full moon to be a supermoon, too), according to NASA.
There will be one more chance to bask in a supermoon this year, as another — the last of 2022 — arrives Aug. 11.