Tonight’s supermoon - what time is the supermoon, what is the Sturgeon moon and what does it mean?
The final supermoon of 2022 will be up in the sky tonight
August sees the last supermoon of the year make its appearance, the fourth one of 2022.
The warm, sunny, and clear conditions that large parts of the UK have enjoyed this week look set to continue through tonight and into tomorrow, making for some great weather to watch out for the moon.
The supermoon should be at its brightest between 2am and 3am tomorrow morning (Friday 12 August).
Here’s what you need to know about this supermoon, including where its unusual nickname came from.
What is a Supermoon?
A supermoon is, according to the Natural History Museum, when a full Moon occurs at the closest point to Earth during its orbit. It appears larger and brighter than a regular full Moon.
A supermoon is widely recorded as being much larger and far brighter than the Moon on any other night.
A section on supermoons on the Natural History Museum website reads: “Sometimes full Moons coincide with the Moon passing especially close to Earth. When this happens, it results in a particularly spectacular supermoon.
“The one on 14 November 2016 was the closest since 26 January 1948. It won’t be beaten until 25 November 2034.
“The closest supermoon of this century will occur on 6 December 2052.”
Where did the name ‘Sturgeon moon’ come from?
The origins of the name of the August supermoon can be traced back to America.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the moon got this name from the Native Americans and their reliance on sturgeon fish.
The giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this part of summer.
What are the names of the other supermoons?
The Sturgeon moon is the fourth and final supermoon of the year, and the names and timings of the first three are listed below:
- Flower - 16 May
- Strawberry - 14 June
- Buck - 13 July
How can I see the supermoon?
The supermoon will be visible tonight, with it being at its brightest at between 2am and 3am.
Areas with little to no light pollution will give you the best views, and try to not be in built up areas to avoid missing out on a glimpse.