This month marks the start of more than just summer. For astronomy buffs, June also marks the start of supermoon season.
Supermoons are annual occurrences that occur in groups of three or four and provide fantastic opportunities for skywatchers and photographers to witness Earth’s celestial companion.
There are three supermoons this year, the first of which rises during the night of Monday, June 13 into Tuesday, June 14.
An astrologer coined the viral term in 1979, but it has some astrological merit.
Instead of orbiting the Earth in a complete circle, the moon circles in the shape of a distorted oval called an ellipse. As a result, the moon is closer to the Earth at periods (perigee) and farther away at other times (apogee).
A supermoon happens when a full moon comes around the same time as the moon approaches perigee, making it appear slightly larger and brighter than previous full moons throughout the year. A full moon at apogee, on the other hand, appears slightly smaller and is referred to as a micro moon.
The difference between these two sorts of full moons is very subtle, and only a side-by-side photo comparison can reveal it.
Even if the appearance isn’t visible to the naked eye, it might still have an impact on the planet.
“When the Moon is close to Earth, the diameter of the Earth is a little greater fraction of the Earth-Moon separation,” NASA noted.
A supermoon’s gravitational pull can also generate higher-than-normal high tides, which might exacerbate coastal flooding. In the days leading up to a supermoon, this can be exacerbated by a tropical storm or hurricane churning near the coast.
Whether it’s a supermoon or not, the full moon in June has earned a slew of titles throughout the years, the most popular of which, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, is the Strawberry Moon.
The forthcoming full moon is being dubbed the Super Strawberry Moon as a result of this unusual moniker.
After June, the next supermoon will appear on July 13 and the last supermoon of 2022 will be on August 11.