Double Delight for Stargazers: Rare Supermoons in August
Prepare for a remarkable sight this August as stargazers can witness two supermoons in August. This extraordinary celestial event will occur again in January 2037, making it rare.
But what exactly is a supermoon? It’s when the Moon appears larger and brighter in the sky than usual because it comes closer to Earth. During a supermoon, the Moon’s size can exceed that of an average-sized moon by up to 8%, and its brightness can be about 16% greater than a typical full moon.
On August 1, the first full Moon of the month, known as the “Sturgeon Moon,” will appear in the afternoon and stay visible for three days. It is named after the giant sturgeon that were once plentiful during this part of summer, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
The second full Moon, called the “Blue Moon,” will peak on August 30, providing a captivating sight in the evening. NASA classifies Blue Moons into two types: monthly and seasonal.
A seasonal Blue Moon is the third full moon of an astronomical season with four full moons, whereas a monthly Blue Moon is the second full moon of a calendar month with two full moons.
It is important to remember that a “Blue Moon” has nothing to do with the color of the moon, and while it is uncommon, there have been cases where the moon has taken on a blue tinge as a result of atmospheric debris from natural disasters.
The Moon rises in the eastern sky just after sunset on warm summer nights, making for a beautiful sight. Considering that this opportunity will come up twice in August, retired NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak advocates taking advantage of it.
The last Blue Moon was seen on August 22, 2021, and they typically happen every two to three years. The two full supermoons this year are a sight not to be missed because the last time two of them appeared in the same month was in 2018!