Final Supermoon of 2023 Appears Tonight

harvest moon
The moon | Image by KPG-Payless

Astronomers are expecting another supermoon Thursday night, the last one of the year.

A supermoon occurs whenever a full moon coincides with it reaching 90% of its perigee, the moon’s closest point to Earth during its orbit, according to NASA. At its perigee, the moon can appear about 14% bigger and 30% brighter and can even cause higher tides.

Such supermoons occur about three to four times per year.

The moon has already put on a number of spectacles in 2023. The Dallas Express previously reported on the appearance of the year’s first Buck Moon in July and a rare blue supermoon that appeared in the sky in August.

The Farmer’s Almanac states that the last supermoon of the year, the Harvest Moon, will be visible starting in the evening hours of September 28. According to the Almanac, the supermoon will reach its peak brightness at 4:58 a.m. CT on September 29.

Because of the time of year when it occurs, the moon has also been called variations of “Corn Moon” by different Native American tribes, such as the Western Abenaki and Dakota tribes, according to the Almanac.

Other names for the last supermoon of the year include the Falling Leaves Moon, Yellow Leaf Moon, Leaves Turning Moon, and the Autumn Moon.

NASA previously announced that people will be able to view three other celestial bodies overnight.

“On the morning of Friday, September 29, (the morning of the full Moon after next), as morning twilight begins (at 6:04 AM EDT), the setting full Moon will be 11 degrees above the western horizon,” said NASA on its website. “The three visible planets will be Venus (the brightest) at 29 degrees above the eastern horizon, Jupiter at 48 degrees above the west-southwestern horizon, and Mercury (the faintest) at 4 degrees above the eastern horizon. ”

Although no more supermoons will occur in 2023, Texans can view another celestial event later next month. NASA expects an annular solar eclipse to pass over portions of southern Texas, with a partial eclipse also being observable for the rest of the nation on October 14.

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