Super moon 2022: effect, observation, all about the Super Thunder Moon

SUPER MOON. This Wednesday, July 13, 2022, raise your eyes to the sky to observe the “Super Thunder Moon”. What time to observe it? How far from Earth? What effects? Know everything.

[Mis à jour le 13 juillet 2022 à 20h20] Notice to moonlight lovers, the Supermoon of this Wednesday evening, July 13, the eve of the National Day, will be spectacular! Once again, the full moon will be closest to our blue planet and we will be able to see it larger and brighter than usual, a phenomenon that is nicknamed “Super Moon” but which scientists prefer to call “perigee-syzygy “, when the full moon is at the point of its orbit closest to the Earth.

While waiting for the photos with a weather just as clement to its observation as the previous Super Moon, here are the most beautiful photos of the Super Moon of June 14, taken in France, the United States, China or even Russia:

For those who miss the astronomical event, a third and final Super Moon will be visible on August 10 this year 2022. Another astronomical phenomenon, comet C/2017 K2, will pass closest to Earth tomorrow, July 14, but only visible from a telescope. Discover below all the information on the distance of the Super Moon from our Earth, its observation in mainland France or elsewhere, and its scientifically proven effects.

The July 13 Supermoon will be at its perigee precisely at 11:50 a.m., according to the Institute of Celestial Mechanics and Ephemeris Calculation (IMCCE). Its observation in France will only be possible from moonrise at 10:23 p.m. at night, until 4:52 a.m. on July 14, National Day.

The phenomenon baptized “Super Moon” by astrologer Richard Nolle, but which scientists prefer to call “phenomenon of perigee-syzygy”, takes place when the point of the lunar orbit is at a minimum distance from the Earth. When is the Moon closest to the Earth? When located at a distance of less than 360,000 km (the average distance between the Earth and the Moon is 384,400 km) according to the Paris Observatory. This Wednesday, July 13, the full moon will be about 357,264 kilometers from Earth.according to the Institute of Celestial Mechanics and Ephemeris Calculation (IMCCE).

The Super Thunder Moon bears this name given by Native American tribes because it coincides with the stormy season due to the high summer heat. It is also called Deer Moon in Native American tradition because deer antlers regrow at this time of year as well.

The Super Moon phenomenon is only visible from countries where it is dark when it passes behind the Earth, which will be the case for France on Wednesday July 13 from moonrise at 10:23 p.m. The Super Moon is only really observable after sunset, with the naked eye, using binoculars or telescopes. In order to observe a Super Moon in optimal conditions, it is necessary to equip yourself with astronomical glasses or a telescope, far from atmospheric pollution, or go to one of the clubs of the French Association of Astronomy (AFA). See the map.

To be sure to observe all the details of the next Super Moon, you must arm yourself with a telescope or a pair of binoculars and be as far as possible from the lights of the city. The Super Moon can only be observed without a telescope if the weather is very good. To observe a Super Moon, the sky must not be overcast.

In astronomy, this event is called “perigee-syzygia”, the name of Super Moon having nothing scientific, since it is an invention of the astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. “A Super moon occurs when the full moon coincides with the moment when the Moon comes closest to the Earth in its elliptical orbit, a point called perigee”, explains the NASA website.

By Super Moon, we therefore mean a celestial phenomenon that is due to two elements: the only satellite of planet Earth passes closest to us when it is a full moon evening.

A Super Moon appears slightly brighter and larger than a Full Moon, simply because it appears at perigee, at its closest orbit point to Earth, less than 360,000 km away.

Due to the proximity of the full moon to our planet Earth, its effects have an even stronger impact on tides, mood and sleep. Indeed, as explained by a Swiss scientific study carried out in 2013 published in the journal Current Biology, “a lunar rhythm can modulate the structure of sleep in humans”. This means that the time to fall asleep is extended by 5 minutes, deep sleep reduced by 30% and sleep duration by 20 minutes. Consequently, the level of melatonin, a hormone secreted during our sleep, which has a role to play in mood, is lower, which can cause irritability or even depression.

If lunar eclipses can occur several times a year, the conjunction of the two phenomena (Super Moon and total eclipse) is rare and gives rise to what is called a blood moon. Several centuries ago, “blood moons” were perceived as the announcement of great catastrophes. Today, we know that this color is due to the projection of sunlight. During the lunar eclipse, it is possible to “see the reflections on the lunar surface of all sunrises and sunsets on Earth”, a phenomenon which results from “a rare alignment of these three astronomical cycles”, a Pointed out Professor Jason Aufdenberg of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.

If a supermoon is announced as a blue supermoon, it has nothing to do with its color. It is so called because it is the second full moon of a calendar month. A fact that only happens every 19 years. The last Super Blue Moon was on January 31, 2018. The conjunction of the phenomena, super blue moon and super blood moon, had not occurred since March 31, 1866 and the next one will not take place before January 31, 2037. The use of the term “blue” would result from a blunder in an article in the American magazine of amateur astronomy Sky and Telescope, in 1946. The article in question was titled “Once in a Blue Moon” and was written by journalist James Hugh Pruett who misinterpreted the Maine Farmers’ Almanac of 1937. And so this confusing expression has gone around the world in no time…! Every two to three years, the year includes 13 full moons instead of 12. The super blue moon is therefore associated with the number 13. Beliefs from the Middle Ages associate these years with 13 full moons with natural disasters, but gardeners rather evoke particularly rainy years not conducive to harvests.

The expression “Super Moon of the century” is to be taken with a grain of salt. The last time our satellite approached so close to the earth was in 1948. On November 14, 2016, the Moon had never been so big since 1948. NASA, who spoke of “super extra Moon”, announced one of the “most impressive lunar appearances of the century”. But if you were expecting to see a gigantic Moon, you may have been disappointed. “This full moon [était] actually closest to Earth for the year 2016 […]but its change in apparent diameter [n’était] absolutely not easy to perceive with the naked eye”, explained the scientific author Guillaume Cannat in his blog Around the sky. The concept of “Super Moon” would have been invented by an astrologer forty years ago, and awkwardly used by NASA’s press office,” he continued. Although the phenomenon is quite exceptional, Guillaume Cannat then warned us about the “exceptional” nature of his observation.

Mark the date of the next Super Moon in your calendar: Wednesday August 10, 2022, scheduled at 7:08 p.m.. The next Super Blue Blood Moon will not reoccur until January 31, 2037.

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