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August Night Skies To Illuminate With Two Supermoons

August night skies to illuminate with two supermoons, which is a blue supermoon, a breathtakingly radiant spectacle that demands attention. Missing this event means waiting until 2032 for another opportunity to catch a similar phenomenon.

Hajra Shannon
Aug 02, 2023231 Shares28863 Views
August night skies to illuminate with two supermoons, which is a blue supermoon, a breathtakingly radiant spectacle that demands attention. Missing this event means waiting until 2032 for another opportunity to catch a similar phenomenon.
While you keep a vigilant watch for a blue-colored Moon, you may find disappointment awaits you. Contrary to its name, a blue moon doesn't actually radiate an azure or cerulean hue. The origins of this term are somewhat uncertain but appear to have been used centuries ago to describe something nearly impossible, akin to saying 'if pigs fly.'
However, in the 1800s, after a volcanic eruption, the sky did indeed take on a peculiar color, giving the Moon a bluish filter. Subsequently, colloquially, a 'blue moon' came to signify a rare event that occurs only occasionally.
In present-day technical astronomical terms, a blue moon refers to the occurrence of four full moons within the same season, as opposed to the usual three. More recently, it also describes a second full moon squeezed into a single calendar month. On the other hand, a supermoon takes place when the Moon's closest approach to Earth in any single orbit aligns with a new or full phase.
When both of these factors converge, it's termed a 'super blue moon' or 'blue supermoon.' In the year 2023, there are four supermoons, and August is fortunate enough to host two of them, making it an astronomical treat worth observing.
While supermoons are not exceptionally rare, having two consecutive ones in a single month is indeed an unusual occurrence. The allure of supermoons lies in their apparent size in the sky, as they can appear up to 14% larger when at their closest point to Earth compared to their farthest distance.
A supermoon happens when a full moon occurs within 24 hours of the moon reaching lunar perigee, the point in its orbit where it is closest to Earth.- Gerald McKeegan, adjunct astronomer for Chabot Space & Science Center.
On the first day of the month, the first supermoon will grace the skies, showcasing a size approximately 7.1 percent larger and a luminosity nearly 15.6 percent brighter than the typical full moon.
The full moon will occur at 11:31 a.m. Pacific time, and about 12 hours later, the lunar perigee will take place, resulting in a stunning and easily visible spectacle throughout the night.
On August 30, the supermoon's perigee is expected at around 9:15 a.m. Pacific time, and it will reach its full phase at approximately 6:35 p.m. The moon will appear full all night, starting from the moment it rises at sunset, presenting another mesmerizing celestial sight for all to behold.

August will see two supermoons

If, for some reason, you cannot venture outside to witness this celestial spectacle, fear not! The Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi has you covered with a live webcast of the Moon rising over Rome's Coliseum. His Virtual Telescope Project will allow you to enjoy the mesmerizing sight from the comfort of your own screen.
My plans are to capture the beauty of this. Hopefully, bringing the emotion of the show to our viewers.- Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi
If you happen to miss the first supermoon, don't worry; another one is just around the corner. Merely 28 days later, on August 31st, the second supermoon will grace the night sky, appearing 0.1 percent larger and brighter than its predecessor.
According to the time-tested observations of the Farmer's Almanac, this particular blue moon will be the "closest, biggest, and brightest full supermoon of 2023". Even though both these moons won't exhibit a blue hue, you might be treated to a sight of them appearing slightly orange.
The August full moons tend to approach Earth lower on the horizon, similar to a sunset. Consequently, shorter wavelengths of light, like blue, are scattered more by the atmosphere, while longer wavelengths like red and orange prevail, painting the moon with those warm and captivating tones.
The skies last witnessed a blue supermoon of this nature five years ago, back in 2018. During that event, it appeared even redder than usual. Technically termed a 'super blue blood moon,' it earned this name due to its unique combination of factors. Firstly, it was the second supermoon of the month, occurring during a rare lunar eclipse when Earth's shadow entirely obscured our neighboring satellite.
As a result, the Moon displayed a remarkable large, bright, and reddish appearance, as depicted in the video below. It was a truly awe-inspiring celestial phenomenon that left a lasting impression on all those fortunate enough to witness it.


The upcoming trifecta lunar event similar to the one here won't grace our skies until January 31, 2037. Until then, we'll have to content ourselves with two splendid orange-y super blue moons - one this August and another in August of 2032. These celestial delights will undoubtedly captivate stargazers with their enchanting beauty until the next extraordinary event occurs.
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