Catch the Last Supermoon of 2022 Tonight

The cycle of supermoons for this calendar year began in May.

The Supermoon rises over the Atlantic Ocean in Hull, Massachusetts on July 13, 2022. Credit: Getty Images
The Supermoon rises over the Atlantic Ocean in Hull, Massachusetts on July 13, 2022. Credit: Getty Images

The Sturgeon Moon, August’s last supermoon, will be visible tonight at 9:36 pm EDT, capping off a series of four supermoons this year. Tonight will be the last chance to see a supermoon in 2022.

The cycle of supermoons for this calendar year began in May. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Flower Moon took place on May 16, the Strawberry Moon on June 14, and the Buck Moon on July 13.

“At certain times of the year, the moon is at its closest point to Earth and these are called supermoons,” Mike Hankey, operations manager for the American Meteor Society, told CNN via email. “It’s just a natural point of the moon’s orbit. At each extreme, the moon is either a little bigger or a little bit smaller (at its furthest point), but it is not a huge difference.”

Known as the perigee, this proximity means that the moon will only be about 226,000 miles from Earth.

The only downside to the Sturgeon Moon’s appearance is that it happens to coincide directly with the height of the Perseid meteor shower, a phenomenon caused by the comet Swift-Tuttle. The moon will, unfortunately, obstruct the Perseids’ peak.

“Most of us in North America would normally see 50 or 60 meteors per hour,” said NASA astronomer Bill Cooke, “but this year, during the normal peak, the full Moon will reduce that to 10-20 per hour at best.”