Spectacular ‘Supermoon’ Visible in the Sky Overnight

Get ready for a supersized moon. One of the biggest full moons of the year — a so-called "supermoon" — will light up the night sky on Saturday (July 12), but is only the first in a lunar triple-play this summer.

During this weekend's supermoon, the July full moon will appear about 30 percent brighter and 14 percent closer than a typical full moon. Last year, the full moon of June made headlines with its super luminosity. In 2014, skywatchers will see three supermoons this summer, one each during the back-to-back full moons in July, August and September.

Supermoons occur when the moon reaches the closest point to Earth, called "perigee," during its month-long orbit. On July 12, the moon will reach its full phase at 7:25 a.m. EDT (1125 GMT), just under three hours after reaching perigee. To the average observer, the moon can also look full in the day before and after the actual full moon date.

To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to spot the difference between a regular full moon and a supermoon. Even though a supermoon is 30 percent brighter, that extra shine can easily be masked by clouds. Also, with no point of reference, the orb suspended in the sky looks about the same size as an ordinary moon. (Source)

July Moon names from different cultures

Raptor Moon (Hopi).
Smoky Moon (Maidu).
Ripe Moon (San Juan).
Crane Moon (Choctaw).
Claiming Moon (Celtic).
Rose Moon (Neo Pagan).
Peaches Moon (Natchez).
Ducks Moult Moon (Cree).
Ripening Moon (Mohawk).
Grass Cutter Moon (Abernaki).
Buffalo Bellow Moon (Omaha).

Hungry Ghost Moon (Chinese).
Ripe Squash Moon (Algonquin).
Raspberry Moon (Anishnaabe).
Salmon River moon (Wishram).
Mead Moon (Medieval English).
Middle Summer Moon (Ponca).
Middle Summer Moon (Dakota).
Red Berries moon (Assiniboine).
Young Corn Moon (Potawatomi).
Buffalo Bellows Moon (Arapaho).
Wild Red Cherries Moon (Sioux).
Corn Popping moon (Winnebago).
Ripening Moon (Passamaquoddy).
Horse Moon, Ripe Moon (Apache).
Summer Moon (Colonial American).
Dropping Deer Horns Moon (Kiowa).
Ripe Corn Moon, Hay Moon (Cherokee).
Sun House Moon (Taos Native American).
Claiming moon (Full Janic), Blessing Moon (Dark Janic).
Little Harvest Moon, Blackberry Moon, Little Ripening Moon (Creek).
Hay Moon, Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Summer Moon (Algonquin).
Other Moon names : Grain Moon, Meadow Moon, Blood Moon, Wort Moon, Blessing Moon, Fallow Moon

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