Tonight, a rare Super Blue Moon will light up the night sky, but people who want to see it will have to be at the right place at the right time.
The next full moon will rise on Wednesday, August 30. It will be one of the biggest and brightest moons of 2023.
Even though it’s called a “blue moon,” the name has nothing to do with what colour the moon will look like in the sky.
In the 1940s, the term was used to describe the second of two full moons in the same calender month. This is what happened in August, when the first full moon, called the Sturgeon Moon, was also a supermoon.
A supermoon is a full moon that happens when the moon is closer to the Earth. Since the moon’s path around the Earth is not a perfect circle, it looks bigger in the sky.
According to In The Sky, the Super Blue Moon will rise at 7:10 p.m. EDT, just after the sun goes down. It will rise from the East.
At 9:36 p.m. EDT, when it is 180 degrees from the sun, it will be the biggest and brightest it has ever been. This is the first time a Super Blue Moon has been seen since 2009.
NASA says that a blue moon only happens every two or three years, so a blue moon that is also a supermoon is even rarer. Even though a Super Blue Moon can happen twice in two months, it might not happen again for another 20 years. On average, it happens once every 10 years.
NASA says that the next Super Blue Moon will not happen again until January 2037, 14 years after the one on August 30. Then, in March 2037, there will be another one.
What’s better than a #BlueMoon? A Super Blue Moon! 🌕💙
While Perigee Full Moons occur annually, Perigee Blue Moons are surprisingly rare! The next one won’t occur until December 2115. So, remember to look up on the night of Wednesday, August 30! pic.twitter.com/HL5j4Skfk0
— The Weather Network (@weathernetwork) August 23, 2023
David Moore, CEO of Astronomy Ireland, told RTE that the event is “extremely rare.” He said, “There are 12 full moons every year, so to get one super blue moon, there have to be 168 full moons.”
As the moon’s cycle takes 29.5 days, there are sometimes two full moons in the same month. However, not all blue moons are supermoons.
Even though a supermoon makes the moon look bigger in the sky, most people won’t be able to tell and only skywatchers will notice a change.
Stargazers will get to see another supermoon this year, but there won’t be another Super Blue Moon for the next 14 years.
The Full Corn Moon will be visible on September 29. This will be the fourth supermoon in a row and the last supermoon of the year, according to In The Sky.
The next supermoon won’t happen again until September 18, 2024. On October 17, 2024, there will be another one.