Why is it also called a Thunder Moon or Buck Moon?
These moon names are associated with seasonal occurrences that happen in July. Male deer, known as bucks, begin to sprout their antlers which is why it is called a Buck Moon. Thunder Moon gets its name from the summer thunderstorms that happen in July.
The July 2013 Super Moon will not be as close or bright as the Super Moon in June. This Thunder Super Moon will appear more than 12% larger and 26% brighter than normal Full Moons.
There is however, a chance for some coloring of this Full Moon because the Moon is rising just as the sun is setting. Scattered light in the Earth’s atmosphere from the sunset could make this Full Moon appear pink, light purple, or orange.
According to NASA, a Super Moon occurs because the Moon is in an elliptical orbit around the Earth. When the Moon is closest, it is at its orbital perigee, which is why a Super Moon is also known as a Perigee Moon.
When is the best time to watch the Super Moon?
As the video below explains, low hanging moons near the horizon appear larger to humans. So the Super Moon will appear biggest to the naked eye on the U.S east coast during and just after the moonrise around 8 p.m. on July 22.
If you live in a different time zones, the time would be the nearly same in your local time if you are on Daylight Savings Times plus or minus a few minutes. For example, the moon will rise on July 22, 2013 in:
Houston, Texas at 8:14 p.m. Central Daylight Time
Denver Colorado at 8:10 PM Mountain Daylight Time
Los Angeles, California at 7:55 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Where is the best place to watch the Super Moon?
The Super Moon will be visible around the world. The best place to watch is wherever the viewer has a good view of the horizon, lack of artificial lighting, and no local cloud cover.