The next full moon and the last supermoon of this year will appear on Thursday, August 11, reaching its peak at 9:36pm EDT, as per Space.com. Accordingly, in India, it will be visible on Friday, August 12.
This supermoon is also known as the Full Sturgeon Moon, and it will be the fourth of the four supermoons in a row. According to NASA, the term Sturgeon Moon comes from the native American Algonquin tribes, who noticed sturgeon fish were more easily caught this time of the year.
A supermoon occurs when the moon’s orbit is closest to Earth at the same time the moon is full. A supermoon can appear 14 to 30 per cent brighter than it is on an average night. It is expected to appear full for three days – from Wednesday to Friday.
The Sturgeon Moon could, however, put a damper on other sky-watching activities. The peak of the full moon also coincides with the Perseids meteor shower, generally considered one of the best meteor showers of the years.
Perseid meteor showers usually offer a light show of 50 to 100 shooting stars per hour at its height. But as per the American space agency, this year, it is likely to come down significantly due to the full moon.
“Sadly, this year’s Perseids peak will see the worst possible circumstances for spotters. Most of us in North America would normally see 50 or 60 meteors per hour. But this year, during the normal peak, the full Moon will reduce that to 10-20 per hour at best,” said NASA astronomer Bill Cooke.
The Perseids are debris and remnants of Comet Swift-Turtle. It was last spotted back in 1992. Now, experts do not expect it to hurtle past the Earth until 2125.
The Perseids will peak on August 13. But as the full moon subsides, it will also begin to fade away between August 21 and August 22, and it will complete vanish by September 1.