July’s lunar display, the first of four supermoons in 2023, will shine brighter in the night sky compared to other full moon events this year.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the full moon will rise on Monday, July 3, and reach peak illumination below the horizon at 7:39 a.m. ET. If weather permits, you can observe this celestial event by looking southeast after sunset.
Dr. Shannon Schmoll, the director of the Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University, explains that a supermoon occurs when the moon appears slightly larger in our sky due to its elliptical orbit around the Earth. The size difference may not be immediately noticeable, but The Old Farmer’s Almanac states that this summer’s first full moon will be more luminous and approximately 224,895.4 miles (361,934 kilometers) away from Earth.
In addition to being a supermoon, July’s full moon is known as the buck moon, as it coincides with the time when male deer’s antlers undergo a shedding and regrowth cycle.
Various Native American names are associated with the buck moon, such as hot moon (referring to summer weather), raspberry moon, and ripe corn moon (indicating the best times for fruit and crop harvesting). In 2023, there will be 13 full moons, with two supermoons in August, including a blue moon, which will be the closest moon to Earth this year. The final supermoon of 2023 will rise on September 29.
Here are the remaining full moons in 2023, as listed in the Farmer’s Almanac:
- August 1: Sturgeon moon
- August 30: Blue moon
- September 29: Harvest moon
- October 28: Hunter’s moon
- November 27: Beaver moon
- December 26: Cold moon
On October 14, a solar eclipse will be visible in North, Central, and South America. To protect their eyes, viewers should wear eclipse glasses. A partial lunar eclipse will also occur on October 28, visible in parts of Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, and South Africa. The remaining meteor showers expected to peak this year can be best observed from late evening until dawn in areas without light pollution. Here are the peak dates for these events:
- Southern Delta Aquariids: July 30-31
- Alpha Capricornids: July 30-31
- Perseids: August 12-13
- Orionids: October 20-21
- Southern Taurids: November 4-5
- Northern Taurids: November 11-12
- Leonids: November 17-18
- Geminids: December 13-14
- Ursids: December 21-22