- The August Blue Moon will shine brightly at 2:35am BST on August 31st
- Despite its name, the moon does not turn blue, retaining its usual shade of gray
Skies around the world will be lit up by a “Blue Moon” this week, a spectacle that marks the end of August.
Stargazers will rejoice as the third supermoon of the year is expected to rise on the eve of August 30 at 9:36pm EDT and 2:35am BST (in the early hours of August 31).
Despite its name, the moon will retain its usual shade of gray during the event, but may appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than normal.
Instead, the “blue” actually refers to the fact that it’s the second full moon of the month, after the “Sturgeon Moon,” which rose on August 1st.
“Supermoons are often given names that are usually of regional or historical significance – an August supermoon appears to be a Sturgeon supermoon,” explained Professor Don Pollacco of the University of Warwick.
The third super moon of the year is expected to rise on the eve of August 30 at 9:36 p.m. EDT and 2:35 a.m. BST (beginning of August 31).
FULL MOON NAMES AND THEIR MEANING
January: wolf moon because wolves were heard more frequently at that time.
February: snow moon coincide with heavy snowfall.
March: wormmoon As the sun warmed the soil, earthworms became active.
April: pink moon when it heralded the appearance of Phlox subulata or Moss Pink – one of the first spring flowers.
May: flower moon because of the abundance of flowers.
June: strawberry moon because it appeared when the first strawberry harvest took place.
July: Buckmoon when it came when a male stag’s antlers were in full growth mode.
August: sturgeon moon after the big fish that was easy to catch at that time.
September: corn moon for this was the time of the corn harvest.
October: hunter moon after the hunting season to prepare for winter.
November: beaver moon because it was time to set up beaver traps.
December: cold moon because the nights were the longest at this time of year.
Source: Old Farmer’s Almanac
“Since the orbital period of the moon around the earth is 29.5 days, two full moons are possible in a normal month.”
“Since this full moon first occurred in early August, there may be a second full moon later in the same moon. This is called “Blue Moon” and leads to the term we use to express the rarity of events.”
A supermoon occurs when a full moon nearly coincides with its perigee — the point in the moon’s orbit where it is closest to Earth.
“Supermoon is a popular term that describes a full moon or new moon that occurs when our satellite is near its perigee, which is its minimum distance from Earth,” explained astrophysicist Giana Masi.
“The term itself has no scientific value: astronomers prefer to call it perigee full moon, but undoubtedly ‘supermoon’ is a far more charming name.”
According to NASA, there are two types of “blue moons” in the world of astronomy, including a calendar blue moon and a seasonal blue moon.
The latter describes the third of four full moons in an astronomical season, meaning that a calendar year has 13 full moons instead of the usual 12.
But Wednesday’s event actually falls into the “calendar category” as the second full moon in August, after the interfering moon on August 1st.
In general, these take place every two to three years, most recently in August 2021.
Though it won’t change color this time, many say the moon appeared blue for months after the massive 1883 volcanic eruption at Krakatoa, Indonesia.
Ash from the blast rose up to 50 miles into Earth’s atmosphere, the particles scattering blue light and making the moon appear blue as well.
A supermoon occurs when a full moon nearly coincides with its perigee — the point in the moon’s orbit where it is closest to Earth
In general, a Blue Moon occurs every two to three years, with the last in August 2021
To get a good view of the moon on Wednesday, experts recommend staying away from cities and towns and heading for areas with clear skies.
Turning off the lights in your home can also improve visibility, although your chances depend largely on the weather and even pollution.
Professor Don Pollacco added, “To see the full moon, face east after sunset.” If you have a clear horizon, it should be obvious.
“The moon is so bright that we can see it when it’s not particularly dark or the weather is not particularly clear.”
“It will be visible all night and will set in the west around sunrise.”
TIPS FOR WATCHING A SUPERMOON
Aim high! The higher up you are, the better your chance of clear skies to see the stars, and you can also see low to the horizon to watch the moonrise!
Turn off the lights For those who do stargazing in the comfort of their own home, turning off lights indoors can improve night sky visibility.
Choose a night with clear skies. Choose a night when clear skies are expected for the best chance of seeing the stars.
Research what you’re watching. Enhance the stargazing experience and download Star Chart for free on AR-enabled Apple or Android devices.
SOURCE: Parkdean Resorts