The August Supermoon on Sunday night is the second of three full or supermoons to be witnessed this summer that will occur within an hour after the moon reaches perigee, or its closest point to Earth. Moreover, the “supermoon” will be the brightest and biggest one to witness the moon in an elliptical orbit around Earth, closest to the earth or perigee.
The farthest point is known as apogee. Tonight, the moon will move to its nearest point of 222,000 miles away from Earth and at apogee the moon is around 252,657 miles away. When a full moon occurs during perigee, it would be brighter by 30 percent more and bigger by 14 percent than a regular full moon, called Purnima in India.
Supermoon occurs roughly every 14 months, usually on Purnima in Hindu calendar. Last year, the three supermoons occurred in May, June and in July. This year, it occurred in July first time and tonight it would appear for the second time and the next supermoon will appear in the month of September on Sept. 9. The August full moon is also known as the “sturgeon moon” as fishermen catch plenty of sturgeon fish in lakes on this day.
Another astronomical event, the Perseid meteor shower, the best meteor shower of the year, will also average a high number of meteors per hour and with more fireballs, fast meteors that burn bright in the night sky in August this this year. They are expected to average around 30 to 40 meteors during the peak time.The official moment when the full moon begins is Sunday at 2:09 p.m. Eastern time (11:39 PM IST). But those who have missed it on Saturday can see the supermoon on Sunday night too.
Supermoon: Where to Watch Live:
For a live stream of the Supermoon, or Mega Moon, visit Slooh website where an online streaming of the Supermoon as it moves nearer to Earth will be shown beginning Sunday at 7:30 ET. In India, the event starts on Monday, August 11 at 5 AM IST.