UAE: Biggest supermoon of the year to rise today

It can appear up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than a full moon



File photo
File photo
by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Tue 12 Jul 2022, 4:35 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Jul 2022, 1:41 PM

The biggest Moon this year will grace the night sky on July 13 and the best time to observe the moon that will arrive at its closest point to the Earth for 2022 is from a vantage point when it rises.

July’s supermoon also known as the Buck Moon appears big and bright in the sky because of its closeness to Earth, with the Moon being only 3,57,264 kilometres away from the Earth.

Experts explain a supermoon can appear up to 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than a full moon when it is furthest away from the Earth.

The name buck moon comes from the Maine Farmer's Almanac (Native American tribes) which began naming full moons in the 1903s.

Elucidating on this technical phenomenon, Sarath Raj NS, Project Director – Amity Dubai Satellite Ground Station, Programme Leader – Aerospace Engineering at Amity University Dubai said, “Supermoons are common occurrences. It regularly take place as part of the Moon's orbit around the Earth. The moon orbits our planet in an elliptical orbit, once every 27.322 days. Over the course of its orbit, the Moon travels between 363,300 and 405,500 kilometres from Earth.”

He further says when the full moon and the moon's closest point (perigee) in its orbit to Earth coincide, it is referred as a supermoon.

“At its perigee, the Moon appears to be 30 per cent brighter and 14 per cent larger than a full Moon at the farthest point of its ellipse (Apogee). When people hear that Supermoons are bigger and brighter, they are frequently perplexed. But the fact is no matter where it appears in the sky, the Moon's size remains constant. Because there are objects to compare its size, when a supermoon rises and sets on the horizon, it appears bigger rather than in the middle of the sky where no comparisons are possible, it appears smaller.”

He adds, “the moon's 30 per cent illumination will only add about 0.28 magnitude rise to the naked eye. On July 13, 2022, the Moon’s right ascension will be 18h 37m 18.9s and declination will be -27° 28' 54.8" with a magnitude of -12.53 in Dubai. In stellar magnitude systems, a fainter celestial object is indicated by a higher positive number, whereas a brighter celestial object is indicated by a higher negative number.”

According to native Americans the last supermoon this year – also known as ‘Strawberry Moon’ occurred on June 14, which marked the last full Moon of spring or the first full moon of summer.

Apparently, the Moon will appear full for about three days, from early Tuesday morning through early Friday morning.

It’s said supermoons only happen three to four times in a year, and always appear consecutively.

The term ‘supermoon’ was coined by an astrologer called Richard Nolle in 1979. According to that definition which has been adopted by The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the phenomenon is a full moon that takes place within 90 per cent of its closest approach to Earth.

Dubai event

Astronomy enthusiasts can view the rare celestial event at Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre, Mushrif Park in Dubai from 6-8pm on Wednesday. The session would entail a lecture explaining the supermoon phenomenon, Q&A session, followed by naked eye and telescopic observations. Fee to the event is Dh70 for adults, Dh50 for kids under 13, and Dh30 for members.


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