Are you able to see the first full Moon for summer 2022
Rising in the east on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, the full “Buck Moon,” “Thunder Moon” or “Raspberry Moon” was captured by photographers as it appeared on the horizon.
The full Moon rises in the east at sunset (or thereabouts) and sets in west the next morning (or opposite a sunrise). Only on the night when the Moon is full, can you see it on the horizon at dusk.
The “Buck Moon” looked orange as it appeared in the east. That’s because when we see it so low in the sky we’re looking through the thickest part of Earth’s atmosphere.
Rayleigh scattering is the key to understanding the physics. Earth’s atmosphere contains oxygen and nitrogen molecules that absorb some wavelengths of light more effectively than others. When you see the moonrise, orange is the most dominant colour.
The Sun’s short wavelength colors such as blue attract more particles, and so are more frequently absorbed. They scatter easier, which is why blue skies are visible during the day. Colors that have longer wavelengths like orange can pass through the atmosphere more easily.
The “Buck Moon” was also the second-largest “supermoon” of the year after last nth’s “Strawberry Moon.” The Moon’s orbit path around Earth is slightly elliptical, so there’s always a point every month—called perigee—when it’s at its closest to us. This is when it appears about 6% larger that the average.
The “Buck Moon” was at perigee on the same day as it turned full. The full Moon took place at 6:38 UTC. However, it reached its highest point at perigeeAt 9:06 AM UTC, it was 229,993 miles/357.264 kilometers away from Earth.
While a supermoon is technically slightly larger than the moon in the sky it’s difficult for casual observers to notice any changes. A full Moon does appear large when seen from the horizon.
That’s because of the “Moon illusion,” which is when the human brain sees disc of the moon on the horizon during dusk and compares its size to other things it can see, such as trees and buildings.
After all, the apparent diameter of the Moon is only 0.5º and that doesn’t change much during a “supermoon.” The celestial sphere around our planet is 360º, and from any one place on Earth you can see 180º. At 0.5º the full Moon fills just one 72,000th of what you can see.
The next full Moon is the “Sturgeon Moon”—also called the “Fruit Moon” and the “Barley Moon”—which will rise on Thursday/Friday, August 11/12, 2022.
We wish you bright skies and wide-eyed visions.