By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower
One of the largest Full Moons of the year, which may affect the tides, occurs Saturday Morning. The Full Moon of July occurs 2014 July 12 at 7:25 a.m. EDT / 11:25 Coordinated Universal Time.
Due to the fact that this Full Moon occurs less than 24 hours before lunar perigee, the Moon's closest approach to the Earth this month, it will be one of the closest, and appear as one of the largest, Full Moons of 2014.
When a Full Moon closely aligns with a lunar perigee, some people refer to it as a "SuperMoon." However, the Full Moon of August will actually appear as the largest "SuperMoon" of 2014.
Lunar perigee occurs early Sunday Morning, 2014 July 13 at 4:00 a.m. EDT / 8:00 UTC, when the Moon will be only 358,260 kilometers from the Earth.
In addition to appearing a wee bit larger in the sky, it is also predicted that this Full Moon close to lunar perigee will result in larger than usual high tides near ocean coastlines.
As we recently passed the Summer Solstice on June 21, when the season of Summer officially began, the Sun appears the highest in the sky during these Summer months (the primary reason Summer months are so much warmer than other months of the year). In astronomical terms, the Sun has a high or positive declination in the sky. Consequently, this is also the season when the Moon appears the lowest in the sky, with a low declination. At this time of year, the Sun is in the sky almost 15 hours every day (another reason Summer months are so warm) while the Moon appears in the sky less than 10 hours a day.
The July Full Moon is known as the Buck Moon, as it usually occurs around the time bucks are beginning to grow new antlers. Some people refer to the July Full Moon as the Thunder Moon, due to the many electrical storms prevalent during the "Dog Days of Summer," approximately July 3 to August 11.
Native Americans also referred to the July Full Moon as the Hay Moon, Buffalo (Bull) Moon, and the Hot Sun Moon.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the July Full Moon is known as the Wolf Moon, Old Moon, and Ice Moon.
More on astronomical declination: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declination
More on the so-called "SuperMoon": Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermoon
More on the Full Moon: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_moon
More on Full Moon names ---
Link 1 >>> http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/full-moon-names
Link 2 >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_moon#Harvest_and_Hunter.27s_moons
Link 3 >>> http://www.farmersalmanac.com/full-moon-names/
Source: Glenn A. Walsh, Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
2014: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium
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