May 18, 2024
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August to Host Two Full Moons and a Blue Moon

August to Host Two Full Moons and a Blue Moon - Refinery29

Skywatchers, prepare for a rare celestial treat this August. The month will host two full moons, both of which are supermoons, and the second is also a rare blue moon.

When to Watch

The first full moon of the month, known as the Sturgeon Moon, will occur on Tuesday, August 1st. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the moon will reach its peak at 2:32 p.m. Although its peak is during daylight, the moon will still appear full on August 2nd. Named the Sturgeon Moon, this full moon gets its name from the sturgeon fish, often most caught around this time of the year.

The second full moon of August, the blue moon, is slated to occur on Wednesday, August 30th. This moon will reach its peak at 9:36 p.m. and will appear full the day before and after its peak.

What Makes These Moons Special?

August to Host Two Full Moons and a Blue Moon - Courtesy of Reader's Digest

Both August’s full moons are also supermoons, a phenomenon where a full moon’s orbit is closest to the Earth. As the moon orbits Earth in an elliptical shape, it periodically moves closer and farther away. Supermoons appear slightly larger and brighter than regular full moons due to their proximity to Earth and occur four times a year.

This year, the supermoons are happening consecutively, a rare event, with the first occurring on July 3rd and the last slated for September 29th.

The blue moon, the second full moon in a calendar month, is an even rarer event. Full moons typically happen once a month as they occur every 29 days, but it’s possible for two to fall within the same month as most months are 30 to 31 days long. The blue moon phenomenon usually occurs every two and a half years.

Weather for Supermoon Viewing

According to the National Weather Service, Tuesday, August 1st, will be sunny, making it perfect for viewing the full moon in the evening. However, light pollution can hinder the visibility of celestial bodies, so it’s best to find a location with clear skies outside of city limits for optimal viewing.

This August presents an exceptional opportunity for stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts. Not only does the month offer two supermoons, but the occurrence of a blue moon, as well, makes it a unique celestial event. Whether you’re an experienced skywatcher or just a casual observer, don’t miss this chance to witness these rare lunar events.

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