Supermoon August 2022: When is the next supermoon - how to see the Sturgeon moon in Bristol

Supermoon August 2022: When is the next supermoon - how to see the Sturgeon moon in Bristol

The skies of Bristol will be decorated this year thanks to the Sturgeon Supermoon.

Unlike many astronomical phenomena, the supermoon is a spectacle that we can all appreciate from the comforts of our back garden.

The Sturgeon Supermoon - which will be the last supermoon until August next year - will light up Bristol with clear skies and high temperatures forecasted by the Met Office.

Here is everything you need to know about the Sturgeon Supermoon such as what it is, where, and how to see it?

What is a supermoon?

A supermoon is 14% larger and 30% brighter than a regular full moon

The term ‘supermoon’ was originally coined by astrologist Richard Nolle in 1979.

The scientific term for a supermoon is the ‘perigee-syzygy’ moon.

A full moon can be considered super when it’s at its closest distance to Earth. At this point, it is referred to as a perigee and at its furthest point away from Earth, it is known as the Apogee.

A full moon occurs at a specific point in the moon’s orbit, where the Earth sits directly between the moon and the sun.

When a supermoon is present, it appears 14% larger and 30% brighter than a regular full moon at its furthest point from Earth. Although supermoons are often calculated differently, a common rule is that they must be within 90% of their closest point to Earth.

Supermoons also have the power to cause higher-than-usual tides, known as perigean spring tides. However, scientists stress that there is no link between a supermoon and a natural disaster.

Why is it called the Sturgeon Moon?

August’s full moon will be known as the Sturgeon Moon.

The term ‘sturgeon’ is believed to have derived from colonists and Algonquian-speaking citizens in northeastern North America. However, not all native parts of the region use the term, with Ojibwe referring to the supermoon as the ‘Blackberry’ Moon

The name is based on the idea of using the Moon as an indicator of optimal harvests in olden times.

Is the Sturgeon Supermoon visible from Bristol?

According to the Met Office, Bristolians should expect largely clear skies with the potential of mist forming. However, this shouldn’t hinder your ability to view the big cheese.

The Met Office has also forecasted good visibility and hot weather tonight with temperatures around 30C this evening.

When is the Sturgeon Supermoon visible from Bristol?

The sun is forecast to set over Bristol at 8:42 pm while the supermoon is set to rise at 8:31 pm in the southeast sky. This means that it might take a couple of hours for the sky to be dark enough for optimal views of the supermoon.

The full moon will be at its peak on Friday, August 12 at 1:30 am.

How can I best see the Sturgeon Supermoon from Bristol?

Clifton Observatory sits to the right of famous suspension bridge

While your back garden is technically good enough, as long as there aren’t any skyscrapers or washing lines blocking your view, here’s a list of Bristol spots perfect for you and your friends to enjoy the magical views:

  • Clifton Downs Observatory, Litfield Road, BS8 3LT.
  • Brandon Hill Park, Park Street. BS1 5RR
  • Victoria Park, Bedminster, BS3 4DP
  • Narroways Hill Nature Reserve, St Werburghs, BS2 9YT.

When is the next Supermoon?

If you miss out on the Sturgeon supermoon, you’re going to have to wait a whole year until the next one. So we encourage residents across Bristol to venture (safely) to a spot and make the most of the stunning view.

The next supermoon will occur in 2023 on August 1 and 31, followed by September 18 and October 17 2024.