The evening sky will offer Canadians a stunning view of the full moon tonight, one that will be visible to stargazers the world over.
Tonight’s “buck moon,” named for the time of the year when male deer grow out their antlers, will be up all night making it hard to miss, Paul Delaney, a physics and astronomy professor at York University, told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview on Wednesday.
Terms for full moons are largely cultural and do vary by region.
The supermoon’s visibility tonight will depend on local weather conditions, Delaney said, anticipating the moonrise just as the sun sets Wednesday.
“For folks interested in photo ops that’s the best time, because as the moon is rising above your local horizon it gets silhouetted against trees and houses and things that are familiar to you,” he said.
“So it’s perhaps the best time to get a really good snapshot of the moon, but it will be available to you all night.”
A full moon occurs when the sun, Earth and moon align in that order. As a result, the sun illuminates the full face of the moon facing Earth.
The moon may appear larger and brighter than others will this year making it a “supermoon,” a term that typically refers to when a full moon is within 90 per cent of its closest orbit to Earth.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the buck moon is the supermoon that will come closest to the Earth this year.
Unlike staring at the sun, Delaney says looking at the full moon is perfectly safe, although the brightness of the moon may mean your eyes will need a bit of time to readjust to the dark.
Viewers also can use binoculars to see the full moon.
With files from CNN