Sarah Stultz: Get out and see the wonders in the night sky 

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

Growing up, I can remember several instances as a child where my sisters and I would pile into the car in the middle of the night with my dad and drive out to the middle of nowhere to watch meteor showers. 

We lived in a much larger city than Albert Lea, so we had to drive a ways to get out to a place with no light pollution and where it would be easier to see the night skies. 

I remember sleeping in the car until we arrived at our destination and then my dad would wake us up to watch. 

Sometimes I would catch myself falling asleep off and on even after we were parked and ready to watch, but as a whole I have great memories of those experiences. 

In the years since, I have not taken advantage of as many opportunities to watch these wonders in the night sky, but when I see that we have a meteor shower or an opportunity to see the Northern Lights, it makes me think of him. 

Though there’s not a meteor shower this week, my dad was still the first person who came to mind when I heard there was going to be something else impressive in the night sky called a buck moon. 

What is a buck moon? 

It’s a supermoon named such because it falls in July — when a male deer’s antlers are in full growth mode. 

According to NASA, supermoons appear 17% bigger and 30% brighter because they are a bit closer to the earth. 

This week’s supermoon was expected to appear full for about three days, from early Tuesday morning through early Friday morning.

The best views were likely to be in the Midwest, in the Great Plains and on the West Coast. 

Though my dad doesn’t live in Albert Lea to watch for these kinds of things with me, I bet I can count on my 10-year-old son, Landon, who frequently points out the moon when we’re driving in the car after dark.

He still occasionally proclaims, “There’s the moon!” when he sees it surface from behind a grove of trees.  

I just might have to start up a new tradition to continue sharing in the joys of the sky. 

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.