July's full moon will once again be a supermoon, reaching its perigee or closest point to our planet on July 13.
The moon will be relatively close to Earth in its slightly elliptical orbit, making it appear just slightly bigger and brighter than usual. The "Buck Moon" or "Thunder Moon," will officially reach its peak on July 13, at 2:37 p.m. EDT(1837 GMT), according to timeanddate.com. While definitions of "supermoon" vary, NASA eclipse watcher Fred Espenak counts July's full moon as the third of four supermoons in a row.
New York City observers will see the almost-full moon set at about 4:55 a.m. local time on July 13, according to timeanddate.com; the slightly waning moon will rise again at 9:00 p.m.
Since full moons do dominate the night sky and wash out fainter objects, it's a great time to focus your skywatching efforts on using your eyes, binoculars or a telescope to examine lunar features. With your naked eye, you can see highlands and lowlands, which can take on certain shapes with cultural meanings.
Binoculars or a telescope show off details in craters, mountains, ridges and other huge features. Happily, the moon is a great target to practice observing as it is easy to find in the sky, it is a large object to track, and it reflects a lot of light for budding photographers.
If you're hoping to photograph the moon, check out our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography. Also read our guide on how to photograph the moon with a camera for some helpful tips to plan out your lunar photo session.
Editor's Note: If you snap an amazing moon photo and would like to share it with Space.com's readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to email@example.com.
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace