The last supermoon of 2022 is set to shine this evening (and Friday morning for some time zones). Known as the sturgeon moon, the event is a perfect excuse to step outside at night to enjoy the celestial show. Take some binoculars and treat yourself to a closer view of our lunar neighbor's scenic craters.
The sturgeon moon nickname traces to the Maine Farmer's Almanac and its listing of Native American names for moons, said NASA's Gordon Johnston in a full moon guide for August and September. This is a good time of year to catch sturgeon fish.
While the moon will be full at 6:36 p.m. PT on Thursday, Johnston said it will appear full through Saturday morning, giving you multiple chances to revel in the view.
In case clouds, weather or other circumstances get in the way, you can tune in to the Virtual Telescope Project's full moon livestream from Rome at 10:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 11.
The term "supermoon" is inexact. It's meant to highlight those times when the moon is closest to Earth, which can make it appear slightly bigger and brighter. Johnston calls August's full moon a "marginal supermoon," saying it's the third closest full moon of the year. The June and July full moons were closer.
The beauty of the full moon is that it doesn't really matter if it's super or not. It's going to be gorgeous. All you need is the right timing, a clear sky and your eyes. As a bonus, we're also hitting the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, so look out for shooting stars, too. Check out these tips for spotting the Perseids even during a full moon.