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The first supermoon of the year will light up the night sky Monday evening

The Flower Moon is seen through trees in May 2021 in Amesbury, United Kingdom.
Finnbarr Webster
Getty Images
The Flower Moon is seen through trees in May 2021 in Amesbury, United Kingdom.

The best show in the night sky this week may not be fireworks.

Monday's night sky will be lit by the first supermoon of the year — so-called because it will be both full and located close to Earth on its elliptical orbit around our planet.

According to Space.com, the moon will be about 224,895 miles from Earth — significantly closer than its typical distance of about 238,000 miles away.

Because they're both full and proximate to Earth, supermoons appear larger and brighter in the night sky than the average moon, though experts say it's unlikely you'll notice a difference with the naked eye.

Monday's full moon is called a Buck Moon, per The Old Farmer's Almanac, because the antlers of male deer known as bucks are in full-growth mode this time of year.

The almanac says it uses moon names from a variety of "Native American, Colonial American, and European sources." Other names for July moons include the Feather Moulting Moon, Flower Moon, Salmon Moon, Berry Moon and Thunder Moon.

This is just the first of four supermoons expected to appear this year, EarthSky reported. Two others will occur in August, and a fourth will arrive in September.

And they're more than just a celestial curiosity. NASA says supermoons can make high and low tides here on Earth more extreme, and the tides can get more intense the closer the moon is to us.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez
[Copyright 2024 NPR]