supermoon

July's ‘Buck Moon' to be the Year's Closest ‘Supermoon,' Astronomers Say

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Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

For the second consecutive month, Chicago residents will be treated to a so-called “supermoon” next week, and this month’s full moon could conceivably be the biggest and brightest of the year.

The July full moon, also known as the “Buck Moon,” will occur on Wednesday, and it will also hold the distinction of being the full moon that occurs closest to the celestial body’s ‘perigee,’ the time that it is closest to the Earth in its orbit.

According to astronomers, the moon will be approximately 222,000 miles from Earth on Wednesday, the closest it will be to the planet on a full moon evening in 2022.

That is nearly 17,000 miles closer to Earth than it is on average, astronomers say.

“Supermoons” occur when the moon is at its closest point to Earth during its orbit. The moon revolves around the Earth once every 28 days, but its orbit, much like the Earth’s, is not a perfect circle or oval, and the distance between the moon and Earth varies throughout the year.

This year, Earth will see consecutive “supermoons,” with June’s full moon also falling under the unofficial designation.  

According to the Adler Planetarium, “supermoons” look approximately 15% bigger and brighter than normal full moons, although it isn’t always easy to tell, officials say.

If you miss this month’s “supermoon,” you’ll have to wait a while to see the next one, as the next “supermoon” isn’t set to take the skies until Aug. 1, 2023.

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