A supermoon will be shining brightly this week.
According to NASA, the moon will appear full from early Tuesday morning through to early Friday morning.
However, local weather conditions will ultimately determine how much of it will be viewable. Environment Canada is projecting mostly clear night skies for B.C., and a mix of clear skies and clouds for the prairies. From Ontario to the Atlantic Ocean, the forecast is calling for either some clouds or rain and cloudy periods.
A supermoon occurs when the moon is full and its orbit is also close to Earth.
While the moon’s orbit around Earth may seem round, it isn’t. It’s elliptical, and the nearest point to Earth is called the perigee, a distance of around 363,300 km.
With the moon at or near its perigee, it will appear larger and brighter than normal. For what it’s worth, the furthest point, or apogee, is around 405,000 km.
Several astronomy websites state this will be the year’s brightest supermoon, with it being 357,418 km from Earth.
Being July, the month’s full moon also has several names, including Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Hay Moon and Salmon Moon.
One month ago, a supermoon happened on June 14. It was called the Strawberry Moon, as it happened during strawberry harvest.
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The Farmer’s Almanac says it’s called the Buck Moon “because the antlers of the male deer (bucks) are in full-growth mode at this time. Bucks shed and regrow their antlers each year, producing a larger and more impressive set as the years go by.”
One online site has an online feed dedicated to this month’s supermoon.
If you plan on taking photos of this week’s supermoon, Greg Reely of Osoyoos, B.C., has tips on how to make memorable pictures.
“If you don’t own a DSLR or a camera, something with a body and manual adjustments, and you’re using a phone, I suggest using a tripod if you can,” says Reely, whose passion for photography has turned into a small business.
“And if you want to create a memorable photo, find something in the foreground of interest, whether it’s a mountain range or a sculpture or a person. That’ll create a much more interesting photo.”
Reely says “if you have a long lens, you can focus on a mountain range or a structure of some kind and, as the moon is rising, capture that. Not when it’s fully risen, but just as it’s coming over the hill or behind a building or by a bridge or something like that.
“That makes a much more memorable shot.”