This is how you see the last supermoon of the year

Stargazers, take note: Thursday night’s full moon will be slightly larger and more vibrant than usual. It is also the last supermoon of the year, according to NASA.

Sturgeon Moon — according to a 1930s edition of the Maine Farmer’s Almanac, the native Algonquin people gave it that name for the large fish that are especially abundant in the Great Lakes at this time of year — won’t be that noticeable to casual observers. But experts said it was a reminder of the wonder of seeing a full moon.

“It’s bigger. It’s brighter, technically, but not so much that you want to go outside and feel that something natural and instinctive is very different, says Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. “That being said, watching a full moon rise is amazing.”

Here’s what you should know about the Sturgeon Moon and how to see it.

The word, coined in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle, is not an official astronomical term.

A supermoon is a full moon that occurs when the moon is at perigee, its closest point to Earth in its orbit. This is what makes a supermoon bigger and brighter than other full moons.

These celestial events happen about three or four times a year, NASA said. The last one was last month.

It’s not that noticeable. But it can still be a stunning sight on a clear night, said Noah Petro, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

A supermoon is about 17 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than when a full moon is at apogee, or its farthest point from Earth, he said.

Still, the difference between a supermoon and a full moon that occurs when the moon is farther from Earth is subtle.

“The difference is only apparent in photographs comparing a perigee full moon to an apogee full moon,” said James Lattis, an astronomer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The moon has appeared full since Wednesday, but the Sturgeon Moon will appear at 9:36 p.m. ET on Thursday, NASA said.

Dr. Faherty recommended that people who want to see the supermoon start earlier by watching the moon rise, shortly after sunset.

Thursday night will be a busy night for celestial events. The Perseid meteor shower, one of the most popular of the year, peaks Thursday night into Friday morning.

Also, Saturn will appear close to the Moon on Thursday night. On Sunday, it will be closest to Earth, and at its most vibrant, than at any other time this year, according to NASA.

The moon will appear full through Saturday morning.

Just go out and look up. It can help to travel somewhere with less light pollution.

“I would recommend anyone with clear skies tonight to head out around sunset and look to the east, as long as there are no tall trees or buildings blocking the view, and try to avoid bright lights,” Dr Petro said.

“If it’s cloudy,” he said, “you can try tomorrow morning before sunrise or tomorrow night.”

NASA offers tips for photographing the moment in its full glory.

You have to wait a year. The next one won’t happen until August 2023, Dr. Petro said.

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