Two supermoons in August will make for a spectacular sky show!
This week, we're in for a rare treat as we'll get not just one, but two supermoons! And to top it off, the second one will be a unique blue moon.
On Tuesday evening (1 August), if you look up to the sky, you'll see a full moon that appears bigger and brighter than usual. That's because it's getting closer to us, just 222,159 miles away from Earth.
This close encounter makes it a supermoon, and on the evening of 30 August, it will get even closer, at 222,043 miles away.
Now, here's the fascinating part. The 30 August supermoon will be the second full moon in the same month, and that's rare! It's called a blue moon, but don't expect it to actually look blue.
A retired NASA astrophysicist shared that "Warm summer nights are the ideal time to watch the full moon rise in the eastern sky within minutes of sunset. And it happens twice in August."
Fred Espenak, also known as 'Mr. Eclipse,' has an impressive understanding of everything related to the moon. But he's not the only one fascinated by the big grey rock up there.
Gianluca Masi, an Italian astronomer and the founder of the Virtual Telescope Project, is equally drawn to the moon's charm. He pointed out that the last time we had two full supermoons in the same month was in 2018, and we won't see it again until 2037. So, now is a rare chance to catch this extraordinary event!
To make sure everyone gets a glimpse of the supermoon's size, the astronomer plans to provide a live webcast of Tuesday's supermoon rising over the Coliseum in Rome. Even if you miss the stunning view in person, you can still see it through the webcast.
Masi expressed his excitement, stating, "My plans are to capture the beauty of this… hopefully bringing the emotion of the show to our viewers."
He added, "The supermoon offers us a great opportunity to look up and discover the sky," encouraging people to embrace this chance to appreciate the night sky's wonders.
Although it's unusual to have two supermoons in a single month, we already had the first supermoon this year in July.
With the two upcoming supermoons in August, the fourth and final one of this kind will occur in September. However, the September supermoon won't be as close as the ones in August.
If you want to witness this rare beauty, be prepared with binoculars or a telescope to enhance your experience. Following this advice will help you see features like lunar maria, which are dark plains formed by ancient volcanic lava flows.
The August full moon is known as the sturgeon moon, named after the abundance of that fish type in the Great Lakes during August many years ago. The Old Farmer's Almanac gives it this cool meaning.
Are you ready to go out with your telescope and garden chair to witness the stunning supermoon?