A rare super blue moon will shine in the sky as August wraps up.
The month already featured aas it began, but the second full supermoon of the month — which will appear on Aug. 30 — will also be a blue moon. A blue moon is not actually blue in color; the term signifies a second full moon within a single month.
August’s first full moon rose on Aug. 1 and was the second of four consecutive supermoons. On average, supermoons are about 16% brighter than an average moon. They also appear bigger than the average full moon. According to NASA, it’s similar to the size difference between a quarter and a nickel. The phenomenon occurs when the moon’s orbit is closest to Earth at the same time the moon is full.
The Aug. 30 supermoon will appear to be even closer than the full moon at the beginning of the month. The last of the four consecutive supermoons this year will be the Sept. 28 “Harvest Moon.”
Those who miss out on the blue moon will have quite a wait before the next one. While around 25% of full moons are supermoons, just 3% of full moons are blue moons, according to NASA. The next blue moon after the one on Aug. 30 will be in May 2026. Astronomy fans will be in for a special treat come 2037, which will feature super blue moons in January and March.
This Wednesday’s super blue moon will reach its peak at 9:36 p.m. EDT. Those looking to the skies may also spot Saturn, which will be visible near the moon around 8:42 p.m. EDT and appear to swing clockwise around the moon as the evening progresses, according to NASA. Saturn should be visible just by looking up, but binoculars or a telescope will help viewers make out some of the planet’s distinguishing features.
Saturn moved directly opposite the sun on Saturday night and will stay there through Sunday night, with the sun’s illumination allowing the ringed planet to appear bigger and brighter in the sky, according to NASA. It will remain visible until February of next year.
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