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If you’ve expecting something that only happens “once in a blue moon,” get ready, ‘cause there’s a blue moon a’comin’. And this one is real special – it’s blue supermoon!
The 2023 blue supermoon will peak at 7:36 p.m. MDT Wednesday, Aug. 30.
A blue supermoon happens considerably less often than a standard blue moon, which shows up about every 2.5 years. The last blue supermoon was in December 2009. The next will be in August 2032, according to timeanddate.com.
There are two different kinds of blue moons, according to Farmers Almanac. A seasonal blue moon is “an extra full moon that occurs within an astronomical season. One season – defined by the dates of the solstices and equinoxes – typically has three full moons occurring within it. If a season has four full moons, the third one (not the fourth) in the season may be called a blue moon.”
A calendrical blue moon, like the one at the end of August, is the second full moon to occur within a calendar month, Farmers’ Almanac said.
It is called a supermoon because the moon is so close to Earth, just 222,043 miles away – almost 17,000 miles closer than average, according to Farmers’ Almanac. (The closest the moon can come to Earth is 221,438 miles. The closest the moon has come to Earth in recent times was 221,454 miles Jan. 15, 1930. The next closest will be 221,469 miles Dec. 6, 2052, according to Farmers’ Almanac.)
There is also such a thing as a black moon, which Farmers’ Almanac describes as “the second new moon in a (calendar) month.” A new moon is essentially the opposite of a full moon.
“During a full moon, we see the side of the moon that is being illuminated by the sun. During a new moon, we see the side of the moon that is not being illuminated by the sun, which makes the moon blend in with the dark night sky,” Farmers’ Almanac said.
A black moon occurs about every 29 months. The next black moon is Dec. 30, 2024.
The next full moon this year is 3:38 a.m. MDT Friday, Sept. 29 – the much-anticipated Harvest Moon.
Visit www.farmersalmanac.com and www.timeanddate.com/news/astronomy/super-blue-moon-2023. Visit www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/moonset-moonrise-photography.html for tips on getting good pictures of the moon.