Two supermoons will appear in August in rare astronomical event
August will see two supermoons in a rare astronomical event that won’t happen again until January 2037, News.Az reports citing New York Post.
The month will open and close with a supermoon, with the sturgeon supermoon rising on August 1 and a rare super blue moon on August 30.
The sturgeon supermoon will appear at its peak illumination in the afternoon on Tuesday, August 1 at 2:32 p.m. ET, according to In the Sky. It will set at 5:11 a.m. ET on Wednesday, August 3.
The August 30 super blue moon will rise at 7:10 p.m. ET — reaching its peak at 9:36 p.m. ET — and will set at 6:46 a.m. ET on August 31.
A blue moon is the second full moon in one calendar month. Typically, months only have one full moon, separated by 29 days, but since months are mostly 30-31 days long, sometimes a second full moon can make its way into the same month, according to NASA.
This event only occurs every 2-3 years, hence the phrase “once in a blue moon.”
The last time stargazers witnessed a super blue moon was in December 2009, and after the one this coming month, the next time one will appear will be in August 2032 — nine years from now.
The blue moon on August 30 will be the year’s biggest supermoon, the Farmers’ Almanac predicted.
Despite the name, a blue moon is not actually blue in color. It has the same color and appearance as any other full moon.
Moon lovers won’t be able to miss the cosmic event, as it’ll take up a large portion of the sky and could potentially take on a different color depending on light and how low it is on the horizon.
“A red or yellow colored moon usually indicates a moon seen near the horizon,” NASA said. “There, some of the blue light has been scattered away by a long path through the Earth’s atmosphere, sometimes laden with fine dust.”
A supermoon is when the moon’s orbit is closest to the Earth at the same time the moon is full, according to NASA. A supermoon is a full moon by nature, but not every full moon is a supermoon.
When a full moon is closer to the Earth than usual, it appears to be slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon — about 15% brighter and 7% bigger.
Both of these full moons in August are supermoons, and they’re also the second and third supermoons of 2023. The first was the full buck moon on July 3, and the final will be on September 28 with the harvest moon.