The next full moon will rise on Wednesday, August 30, and it will be one of the brightest and largest moons in 2023.
The term “blue moon” has nothing to do with color, but since the 1940s it has most commonly referred to the second of two full moons that fall in a single calendar month; Thus, Wednesday’s full moon is identified as a blue moon because it is the second full moon of August. Just like the first full moon in August, which is the sturgeon moon on August 1, the blue moon will also be a super moon, which means that it will occur during a period when the moon is closest to Earth, making it appear imperceptibly larger in the sky.
according to in the sky, The super blue moon will rise just after sunset at 7:10 PM EDT (2310 GMT) on Wednesday from the eastern horizon. However, this will not happen when he is at his biggest and brightest. The exact moment of the full moon is defined as the point at which it is 180 degrees from the sun, exactly opposite our star in the sky above Earth.
For this year’s Blue Moon, the Moon will be opposite the Sun at 9:36 PM EDT on Wednesday, Aug. 30 (0336 on Aug. 31). According to NASA. At this time, he will be in the constellation Aquarius. The blue moon will set on Thursday just before sunrise at around 6:46 AM EDT (1046 GMT).
Related: This week, the rare August super blue moon will rise, the largest full moon of 2023
As explained above, a blue moon is usually classified as the second full moon of a single calendar month (although it technically refers to the third full moon in a season with four full moons). A full moon occurs about 12.4 times a year, meaning that every 2.8 years, there is a 12-month period containing 13 full moons. Thus, one of those months must accommodate two full moons and, therefore, contain a blue moon.
Since the lunar cycle takes 29.5 days to go from one full moon to the next, this means that this month saw a sturgeon full moon at the beginning of the month and a second, blue moon, at the end of the month. However, not all blue moons are supermoons like the full moon that occurred on August 30.
The supermoon occurs when the full moon falls during the period when the moon is closest to Earth. This happens because the moon’s orbit around our planet is not circular, but rather elliptical like a flat circle or ellipse. This means that there are times in the moon’s orbit when it is farther away – at aphelion – and times when it is closer – at perigee. The distance between the Earth and the Moon during perihelion and aphelion ranges from about 220,000 miles (350,000 km) to 253,000 miles (408,000 km), a difference of about 14%.
Despite this discrepancy in the distance between the Earth and the Moon, there is not much difference in how the Moon actually appears in the sky during a standard full moon and during a supermoon. The moon may appear slight It is larger and brighter during a supermoon, but this will not be noticeable to anyone except sky-watchers with a lot of experience observing the moon.
Blue moon/supermoon coincidences are much rarer than individual supermoons or blue moons. While a super blue moon can occur twice during the same month, they can also be separated by periods of up to 20 years. According to NASA. The space agency says the average time between the appearance of two large blue moons is 10 years.
Although it won’t be a blue supermoon, skywatchers will get a chance to see another supermoon in 2023. September’s full corn moon on Sept. 29 will be the fourth consecutive supermoon, and it will also be the last supermoon of the year. according to in the sky, The next supermoon after that will be on September 18, 2024, and a second supermoon next year will be followed by a second supermoon a month later on October 17, 2024.
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of a super blue moon, you’ll find our guides on it The best telescopes And best binoculars It’s a great place to start.
If you are looking to take pictures of the Super Blue Moon or night sky In general, see our guide on how to photograph the moon as well as our guide The best cameras for astrophotography And The best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor’s note: If you took a photo of the super blue moon and would like to share it with Space.com readers, send your photo(s), comments, name, and location to firstname.lastname@example.org.