KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The final supermoon of 2022, also known as the Sturgeon moon, will fill the night sky Thursday.
It’s the fourth — and last — supermoon of the year, when the moon’s orbit brings it closer to Earth than usual. Typically, supermoons appear about 7% larger and about 15% brighter than a typical full moon.
The most common nickname for the August full moon is the Sturgeon moon because, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the month was the best time to catch the fish in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.
The moon will be at its fullest at 8:36 p.m. CDT Thursday, but it won’t rise in Kansas City’s night sky until just a few minutes after that. Still, it will appear full from Wednesday morning through Saturday morning.
If you want to view the supermoon, look to the southeastern sky.
After this, we won’t see another supermoon until July 2023.
But some stargazers might not appreciate the extra light this week.
That’s because the supermoon Thursday night will coincide with the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, from Thursday to Friday, which is considered one of the top meteor showers of the year.
There can be 50-100 meteors per hour under ideal conditions, but the light from the full moon might make it hard to see all the “shooting stars.” NASA said that means viewers will most likely only see 10-20 per hour at most.
Still, if you want to search for meteors in the sky Thursday or Friday night, it’s best to focus on darker areas of the sky where the moon isn’t in sight. Or keep watching the sky in the days after the peak. You may end up seeing more meteors as the moon wanes and becomes dimmer.
And to add to the fun in the night sky, Saturn will also be visible.
The Earth will officially fly between Saturn and the sun on Sunday, known as opposition, but you can even see the ringed planet now, according to EarthSky. Saturn will appear near the moon, looking like a large star.