"Super Blue Moon" Hits Skies Tonight

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31 Aug 2023 1:40 AM

Are you ready for a rare "Super Blue Moon" on August 31st? This space phenomenon only happens once every 10-15 years when there is both a second full moon in a month and the moon is at its closest point to Earth. Get ready to experience this month's Super Blue Moon, or you'll be waiting 14 years for the next!

Super Moon

Because the moon’s orbit around Earth is not a perfect circle, there are points in the year when it is closer to Earth. This is known as “perigee”. When the moon is at “perigee” and full, it is called a “supermoon” because it appears large and bright in the sky. It looks roughly 14% bigger than when the moon is full at its closet point away from Earth, according to NASA. 

Supermoon’s aren’t all that uncommon, they happen about 2x per year in back-to-back moon cycles. August 1st moon was a “supermoon” and our next set of supermoons will be 2024’s September and October moons.  

Blue Moons

A blue moon is known as one of two things:  

  1. A full moon twice in a calendar month 

  2. A third of four full moons in a season – Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter (rather than 3)  

Blue moons are less likely than supermoons, occurring in only 3% of full moons according to NASA. The next seasonal blue moon will be August 19, 2024 as we will have 4 full moons during the Summer season (June 20-September 22). Blue moons happen once every 2-3 years. The next calendar month Blue Moon happens on May 26, 2026 

For a supermoon AND blue moon to happen together … that’s pretty rare. The next opportunity for a “Super Blue Moon” won’t happen until January and March of 2037! 

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