Blue Moon: How to see August’s second supermoon and Saturn?

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August started with a bright supermoon, and it will end in the same way as another moon lights up the night sky this week. The ringed planet Saturn will also appear in its closest and brightest appearance this year near the Moon.

The full moon will peak at 9:36 p.m. ET on the evening of August 30, but will appear full until Friday morning, according to NASA.

At the end of twilight on Wednesday evening, around 8:42 PM Eastern Time, the bright glow of Saturn will appear about 5 degrees to the upper right of the Moon. Over the course of the evening, Saturn will appear to move clockwise around the moon, according to NASA. At their closest point, the distance between the two moons will appear to be four full moons, according to the American “space” website. EarthSky.

Saturn reached opposition on August 27, when Earth moved between it and the Sun, meaning the ringed planet is at the closest point in its orbit to our planet, and thus visible in our night sky.

Both August full moons can be considered supermoons, according to EarthSky. Definitions of a supermoon can vary, but the term generally refers to a full moon that is closer to Earth than usual and therefore appears larger and brighter in the night sky. The Moon will be 222,043 miles (357,344 kilometers) from Earth, nearly 18,000 miles (28,968 kilometers) closer than the average distance.

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Some astronomers say this phenomenon occurs when the Moon is within 90% of perigee – its closest approach to Earth in orbit.

The supermoon may play a role in Hurricane Idalia, which is expected to make landfall Wednesday morning, by enhancing tides and worsening storm surge. Because of the proximity of this giant moon to Earth, its gravity will have a stronger effect on the oceans.

High tides could increase by about a foot, according to National Hurricane Center Deputy Director Jimmy Romm.

The second full moon in one month is also known as a blue moon, like the phrase “once in a blue moon,” according to NASA. Just don’t expect it to take on a blue color.

Normally, a full moon occurs every 29 days, while most months on our calendar last 30 or 31 days, so the months and moon phases do not always correspond. This results in a blue moon approximately every two and a half years, with the last one occurring in August 2021.

The second full moon of August also marks the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan, which celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters.

Full moons and supermoons

The fourth and final supermoon of 2023 will appear on September 29.

Here are the remaining full moons in 2023, according to the Farmers’ Almanac:

● September 29: Harvest Moon

● October 28: Hunter’s Moon

● November 27: Beaver Moon

● December 26: Cold Moon

Lunar and solar eclipse

People across North, Central and South America will be able to see the annular solar eclipse. During a solar eclipse, the Moon will pass between the Sun and Earth at or near its farthest point from Earth. The Moon will appear smaller than the Sun and surrounded by a glowing halo.

To avoid eye damage while looking at the phenomenon, viewers should wear eclipse glasses.

A partial lunar eclipse will also occur on October 28. Only part of the Moon will pass into the shadow, as the Sun, Earth and Moon will not be fully aligned. This partial eclipse will be visible in Europe, Asia, Australia, parts of North America and much of South Africa.

All remaining meteor showers expected to peak this year will be most visible from late evening until dawn in areas with no light pollution. Here are the peak dates for events:

● Lepidoptera: October 20-21

● South Taurides: November 4-5

● Northern revolts: November 11-12

● Leonids: November 17-18

● Gemini: December 13-14

● Ursids: December 21-22

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