Tonight a peculiar full moon, called the ‘Deer Supermoon’ or ‘Buck Moon,’ will light up the skies, bigger and brighter than usual.
It is the first full moon of summer 2023 that will be a little closer to Earth – less 20,000 km than usual – 361,934 km from our planet (instead of 384,000), with an estimated diameter of about 3,500 km. A real spectacle actually began as early as the early hours of the day, with the moon located in the constellation Sagittarius and named after the Amerindians.
In fact, it is occurring in conjunction with the antler growth period of the male deer, which happens right now. It is also commonly called a “salmon moon” and will be 5.8 percent larger and 12.8 percent brighter. For a Supermoon to appear, two events must coordinate, according to Nasa’s website. “A Supermoon occurs when the full moon coincides with the time when the moon comes closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit, a point called perigee,” the authoritative source explains.
“Thanks to a trick in our brains called the ‘lunar illusion,’ the lunar disk appears larger when it is closer to the horizon,” commented the specialized website Starwalk. However, although it is the first larger ‘Supermoon’ since early 2023, it will still be the smallest of the four supermoons to occur this summer. The next full moons will occur on August 1, the Super Sturgeon Moon; August 31, the Super Blue Moon; and September 29, the Super Harvest Moon. The absolute largest full moon of the year will be the Super Blue Moon, which will be located only 357,344 km from Earth. Each time to fully enjoy the spectacle, one must observe the moon from a dimly lit place so as not to be disturbed by outside lights, hoping especially for clement weather conditions.
But what are the consequences of the Supermoon for humans? A scientific study published in the journal ‘Current Biology’ reveals that it can “alter the structure of sleep.” The time to fall asleep could be prolonged by five minutes, sleep duration reduced by about 20 minutes, and with less good deep sleep.