Chicago, IL

Chicago will get to see the year's last supermoon on Thursday night

Jennifer Geer

Unfortunately, the bright full moon will make the Perseid meteor shower (peaking on the same night) difficult to spot.

(CHICAGO) It's the last supermoon of 2022, and if you miss this one, the next one won't be until almost a year from now.

Known as the Sturgeon Moon, the August full moon gets its name from the immense amount of sturgeon that were caught in the Great Lakes by Native Americans during this time of the summer.

What is a supermoon?

NASA defines a supermoon as a full moon that is at its closest point to the earth. According to NASA, "At its closest point, the full moon appears about 17 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than the faintest Moon of the year, which occurs when it’s farthest from Earth in its orbit. Even though 17 percent doesn’t make a big difference in detectable size, a full supermoon is a bit brighter than other moons throughout the year."

How to see the Sturgeon Moon over Chicago

NASA says the full moon will peak on Thursday night at 8:36 Central Time at seven degrees above the east-southeastern horizon.

Planet watching

While you're looking up at the Moon, look for the planet Saturn which will appear five degrees above the full moon. Saturn will be nearly at its brightest for the year, according to NASA.

Is there a meteor shower happening too?

Viewable in the Chicago area, the Perseids meteor shower is usually one of the best shows for sky watchers during the year, weather permitting. According to the Adler Planetarium, the Perseids meteor shower could have 60 to 100 "shooting stars" per hour at its peak.

Sadly, the peak of the Perseids is at the same time (the night of August 11 and the morning of August 12) as the supermoon. The bright Moon will fade out the meteors in the same way that bright city lights make them harder to spot.

The planetarium recommends in its blog that your best chance of seeing meteors is to watch for them several hours after midnight. The Moon will be lower in the sky, and the meteor shower will be higher. Face east to put the Moon will be behind you. Also, be sure to wait 20 to 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark sky.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

Chicago, IL
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