If you love the breathtaking beauty of supermoons, August still has one last surprise for you. We began this warm month by witnessing the Sturgeon Moon, a magnificent supermoon that reached its fullest brilliance on the night of August 1st. But the Sturgeon Moon was just one of the two supermoons we will be able to see this month.
In these final days of August, we have a date with the Blue Moon, a supermoon that could be 16% brighter than a regular full moon and also appear larger to us, Earth’s observers. We will be able to witness a spectacle that occurs very rarely in the night sky.
The name of this special full moon might resonate with fans of Frank Sinatra, the songwriter of the famous song ‘Blue Moon’. However, despite its catchy name, the Blue Moon won’t actually be blue. It’s merely a term used to refer to a second full moon occurring in a single month, with the unusual coincidence that, in this instance, it will also be a supermoon.
According to Dr. Shannon Schmoll, the director of Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University, a supermoon occurs when the Moon appears slightly larger in our sky. “Because the Moon orbits around the Earth, it’s not a perfect circle. So, there are points in its orbit where it’s a little bit closer or a little bit farther from Earth,” she explains.
Hence, supermoons are merely a phenomenon perceived by humans. When the Moon reaches a full moon phase while being at a point in its trajectory where it’s very close to Earth, our satellite appears much larger, and it’s referred to as a supermoon.
If you don’t want to miss the majestic Blue Moon, you’ll need to be very attentive on the night of August 31st, as at 3:36 AM (Spanish peninsular time) you’ll be able to witness this spectacular moon at its peak. Of course, this is all dependent on weather conditions permitting.
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