Prepare to witness a celestial spectacle as the most luminous and expansive full moon of 2023 graces the night sky on August 30. Termed a “blue supermoon,” this rare lunar event arises from the convergence of three distinct lunar phenomena, promising a captivating visual display.
Contrary to its name, the “blue” supermoon does not denote the moon’s color; rather, it refers to its timing as the second full moon within August. The intriguing occurrence of two full moons within a single calendar month is attributed to the moon’s approximately 29.5-day cycle per full moon. With the Sturgeon Moon illuminating the skies on August 1, 2023, the forthcoming full moon on August 30 qualifies as a blue moon, a phenomenon known as a “calendar blue moon.” These occurrences, which arise every two or three years, are slated for the next appearance on May 31, 2026, as per timeanddate.
Delineating the second aspect of its nomenclature, a “supermoon” event transpires when the full moon reaches its closest proximity to Earth in its elliptical orbit. This August’s second full moon marks the third and closest supermoon out of four projected for 2023. Positioned at a mere 222,043 miles (357,344 kilometers) from Earth, it promises to be the most prominent and radiant supermoon of the year. Intriguingly, this proximity is only marginally closer than the full moon observed on August 1, which was positioned 222,023 miles (357,311 km) away.
Although the “blue” and “super” aspects of the phenomenon might be explained, the celestial enigma deepens with the term “blue supermoon.” This moniker alludes to the synchronicity of the moon’s phase and its closeness to Earth, crafting a stunning visual feast for sky gazers and enthusiasts.
In the wake of this mesmerizing event, skywatchers can look forward to the Harvest Moon, set to grace the night sky on September 29. Renowned as one of the year’s most prominent full moons, it will conclude the supermoon sequence for 2023.
To seize the opportunity of witnessing the blue supermoon’s captivating presence on the eastern horizon, be sure to ascertain the precise moonrise time for your location. For those inspired to explore the realms of stargazing and astronomy, our comprehensive guides to stargazing binoculars, telescopes, and astrophotography cameras offer valuable insights to enrich your celestial endeavors.