The Last Supermoon of the Year Appears This Week

August's full moon is the last supermoon of 2022.

august supermoon
Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

This year's string of supermoons comes to a close in August. 

The full moon arrives on August 11. It's the final of a series of summer supermoons and the last one we'll have in 2022. The photogenic sturgeon moon will be slightly larger and brighter than the average full moon. Though, for many stargazers, the full moon isn't such a welcome sight this month.

That bright full moon will make the Perseid meteor shower, often one of the year's best, a bit of a dud. Instead of showcasing dozens of meteors at its peak, we'll more likely see around ten meteors per hour, with the moon's light obscuring many of the Perseids. 

What is a supermoon?

Supermoon is a name that frustrates some people. Those people argue that the perigee-syzygy moon, its technical term, isn't deserving of the "super" in its colloquial title. It's a full moon that sits within 90% of its closest approach to Earth in its elliptical orbit. 

supermoon august 2022
Courtesy of NASA/JPL Caltech on YouTube

A supermoon is around 14% larger and 30% brighter than a micromoon, per NASA. That's not the average full moon, but a comparison drawn with the moon at its furthest point from Earth. That means the supermoon is an even smaller percentage larger and brighter than an average full moon. 

Supermoons aren't common, but they probably haven't earned the label of rare either. Depending on the source, three or four supermoons are taking place in 2022. By either count, we're at the end of the line. It's a great night to photograph or simply enjoy the moon. Or, perhaps, it's a perfect night to rue the moon if you're disappointed that it'll obscure what might otherwise be a great night for stargazing at the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. 

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in a stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners or easy stargazing road trips from big US cities.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin on Twitter.