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2014′s closest, brightest supermoon on August 10

Full moon via Evgeny Yorobe Photography

Tonight for August 10, 2014

Like all full moons, this month’s full moon on August 10 has many names. It’s the Sturgeon Moon in North America, harking back to bygone centuries when this large fish roamed plentifully in the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay. The August full moon is also known as the Green Corn Moon or the Grain Moon. In 2014, the August 10 full moon also gives us this year’s closest supermoon. According to NASA, this full moon will be 14% closer and 30% brighter than other full moons of the year.

As measured from the centers of the Earth and moon, the August 10 full moon lies 356,896 kilometers (221,675 miles) away. The moon and Earth won’t make such a close encounter again until the full moon of September 28, 2015, at which time the two will only be 19 kilometers closer together.

Full moon photo top of post via Evgeny Yorobe Photography

Will you see meteors in the annual Perseid meteor shower in the light of the bright supermoon?  You might.  The Perseids have more fireballs - or very bright meteors - than any other shower.  This chart is from NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.

Will you see meteors in the annual Perseid meteor shower in the light of the bright supermoon? You might. The Perseids have more fireballs – or very bright meteors – than any other shower. This chart is from NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. Click here to learn more about the meteor showers.

For general reference, we can say the moon is full all night on the night of August 10. Astronomically speaking, the moon is full at the instant that it’s most directly opposite the sun. By this definition of full moon, the moon turns full at 18:09 UTC on August 10. Universal Time refers to the standard clock time at the prime meridian of 0 degrees longitude. It translates to 1:09 p.m. CDT for us in central North America. Translate to your time zone here.

Thus, in the Americas, the full moon happens during the daylight hours today, when the moon is still beneath our horizon.

However, for much of Africa, Asia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, the moon is precisely full during the nighttime hours, or sometime between sunset August 10 and sunrise August 11.

Want more about the supermoon? Click here.

Day and night sides of Earth at instant of the August 10 full moon (2014 August 10 at 18:09 Universal Time). You have to be on the nighttime side of Earth to see the moon at the instant it turns full. It is noon in North America, midnight in Asia and sunset over Africa and eastern Europe.

Day and night sides of Earth at instant of the August 10 full moon (2014 August 10 at 18:09 Universal Time). You have to be on the nighttime side of Earth to see the moon at the instant it turns full. It is noon in North America, midnight in Asia and sunset over Africa and eastern Europe. Image Credit: Earth and Moon Viewer

Bottom line: The August 10, 2014 full moon lies 356,896 km (221,675 miles) away. The moon and Earth won’t be so close again until the full moon of September 28, 2015. This August 2014 full moon is the closest supermoon of 2014.

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