The last supermoon of the year is nearly upon us. Thursday, the Sturgeon supermoon will rise over the horizon, giving stargazers their last such cosmic event of the year. Also called the Green Corn Moon, scientists say the Sturgeon Moon is a "marginal supermoon" and can be seen beginning just after 9:30 p.m. Eastern time this Thursday
According to NASA, the supermoon will be biggest when it's seven degrees above the east-southeastern horizon. While the supermoon will happen Thursday, August 11th, it will also appear full or near-full on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
"The Maine Farmer's Almanac began publishing Native American names for the full moons in the 1930s, and these names have become widely known and used," NASA says on about the Sturgeon. "According to this almanac, as the full moon in Aug. the Algonquin tribes in what is now the northeastern United States called this the Sturgeon Moon after the large fish that were more easily caught this time of year in the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water. This Moon was also called the Green Corn Moon."
Coincidentally enough, the supermoon will appear during the same time the Perseid meteor shower peaks, giving star-gazers plenty to watch for in the night sky this week. The Perseids are expected to be most active on August 11th and 12th.
"The Perseid meteor shower, which peaks in mid-August, is considered the best meteor shower of the year. With swift and bright meteors, Perseids frequently leave long 'wakes' of light and color behind them as they streak through Earth's atmosphere," NASA says. "The Perseids are one of the most plentiful showers with about 50 to 100 meteors seen per hour. They occur with warm summer nighttime weather allowing sky watchers to comfortably view them."
For those unable to catch the supermoon, the Virtual Telescope Project will have a live-stream of the supermoon set against the Rome skyline on Thursday. You can watch that here.
After this week, the next supermoon won't be seen until a full year from now on August 1, 2023.