It will be worth staying up a bit late on August 30, 2023. If the weather is clear, people across the country should be able to gaze up upon a rare occurrence: a blue supermoon. While not technically blue in color, the moon will be shockingly bright and large as it travels its closest to Earth all year, with its peak occurring at around 9:36 p.m. EDT. Grab a pair of binoculars, pull out a telescope, or take a stroll outside to enjoy the sight as three special moments in astronomy combine.
What is a blue supermoon? A blue moon is not named for its color, but rather for its timing. The second full moon in a month is known as a calendar blue moon; the first full moon in August 2023 occurred on the 1st. This type of blue moon will not occur again until May 31, 2026. When 13 full moons are squeezed into a year, that is called a seasonal blue moon. The next such event will occur on August 19, 2024.
A supermoon is a moon that appears larger as it passes close to Earth in its elliptical orbit. Close to the perigee, or nearest point to Earth, the moon on August 30 will be the closest in 2023. It will pass Earth at 222,043 miles away. The next supermoon, and the year's final one, will be September 29. Since the moon takes 29.5 days to orbit the Earth, these moons are predictable for those who are interested. How big is the difference visually between a supermoon and a “regular” moon? It will look rather like comparing a nickel to a quarter.
August 30's moon will be what is often called a fruit moon, timing out with the harvest of orchards. It will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere with the naked eye. This is the perfect opportunity to try out moon photography with your phone or camera. Tripods and remote releases will help you get the best shot.
On August 30, 2023, you can catch the rise of an incredible blue supermoon in the night sky.
h/t: [Live Science]