Super Buck: How to See Tonight's Largest Full Moon of 2022

July's full moon is due this week—and it's also the second supermoon of the year.

This month's full moon will technically reach its peak today, July 13, at 2:38 p.m. EDT, according to retired NASA program executive Gordon Johnston, who writes a regular skywatching blog for the space agency.

Although this is during the day, the moon will still appear full on Wednesday night and should continue to do so until early Friday morning.

This full moon is also a supermoon—a loose term that refers to a new or full moon that is within 90 percent of its closest point to Earth, as coined by astrologer Richard Nolle.

Since supermoons are technically closer to Earth than usual, it may be easy to imagine a supermoon as much bigger and brighter in the sky compared to when the moon is not so near. However, NASA states that it might be hard for a casual observer to detect a supermoon visually, even though they are indeed bigger and brighter than usual.

The moon
A stock photo shows the moon against a dark sky. Supermoons are closer to the Earth than usual. seaonweb/Getty

When the moon is at its closest point to Earth, known as its perigee, it is around 226,000 miles away. At its furthest point, known as its apogee, the moon is around 251,000 miles away.

At its closest point, the full moon appears about 17 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than the faintest moon of the year.

"Even though 17 percent doesn't make a big difference in detectable size, a full supermoon is a bit brighter than other moons throughout the year," NASA states. It is uncertain whether this will be noticeable to the average person, though.

Visual appearance aside, supermoons do cause higher tides than usual since the moon is closer to Earth.

Supermoons occur three to four times a year. While they're not rare, keen observers may have to wait a couple of months between them. Those who want to catch the supermoon over the next couple of nights might want to make sure they have access to clear, dark skies. It might be best to try and catch the moon near to the horizon.

If not, it will be possible to watch the supermoon online via a livestream hosted by the Virtual Telescope Project astronomy group.

"Next 13 July, the supermoon will be back, but with something special: It will be the largest full moon of 2022," the group's website read. "We will show it live, online, while it rises above the legendary skyline of Rome."

The livestream is due to start at 3 p.m. ET today on the Virtual Telescope Project's WebTV page here.

The last full supermoon of this year was in June, and July's one will be the last, according to astronomy and time company Time And Date.

Technically, there will be another supermoon in December this year. But it will be a new moon, so it won't be visible from Earth.

Sometimes supermoons are given names based on the full moon name of that month. Last month's supermoon was dubbed the Super Strawberry Moon. This month's supermoon may be referred to as the Super Buck Moon.

The Old Farmer's Almanac reference book maintains a list of traditional monthly full moon names that come from a variety of sources including Native American, colonial American, and European sources.

The full moon in July is thought to be called the Buck Moon because the antlers of male deer are "in full-growth mode" at this time, The Old Farmer's Almanac states. It also says that another name for the full moon in July is the Salmon Moon, a Tlingit term indicating when fish are ready to be harvested. Europeans called it the Hay Moon.