During the evening hours of Thursday, August 11, the moon will move closer to Earth, illuminating our sky with the fourth and final supermoon of the year.
This supermoon, otherwise known as the Sturgeon Moon, will peak at approximately 9:36 p.m. Eastern Time. Catch the best view of it rising from the horizon by looking southeast after sunset.
A supermoon is a celestial event that describes the moon at its closest proximity to the Earth on its orbit (or reaches “perigee”). As a result, the moon appears to be bigger and brighter than usual. The Sturgeon Moon finishes off this year’s display of four supermoons, the first of which lit up our sky in May.
Moreover, the August moon’s moniker is derived from the giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain that were most readily caught during this part of summer.
This celestial event may not get the recognition it deserves though as it clashes with one of the most anticipated meteor showers of the year — the Perseid meteor shower. While most observers in North America would normally be able to see about 50-60 meteors per hour, the Sturgeon Moon will reduce the visibility to about 10-20 meteors per hour according to a statement from NASA.