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Super Blue Moon 2023


Tonight is the night! The Super Blue Moon of 2023 is finally here!

The cosmic curtain rises on Wednesday night with the second full moon of the month which is the reason it’s considered blue.

Even better, we are all in for a treat this week: a blue supermoon and Saturn peeking from behind.

What is a blue supermoon?

The term “supermoon” was created in 1979 by an astrologer named Richard Nolle. A supermoon refers to the point when the full moon is at the closest point of its orbit around the Earth.

The moon’s orbit is elliptical as it follows an oval course around the Earth, meaning that it is closer and farther away from the Earth at different times.

This time, it will be the year’s closest full moon, just 357,344km (222,043 miles) or so away. That is more than 160km (100 miles) closer than the August 1 supermoon.

Did you know this is actually the second full moon taking place this August? Therefore, it becomes a blue moon. This is the term to use when we can see the full moon twice in a single month.

According to NASA, the apparent size increase is 14 percent, which is about the difference between a nickel and a quarter. Because it will be close to us in its orbit, it will also appear brighter than usual.

When and at what time is the supermoon?

According to NASA, the supermoon will “appear opposite the Sun” (in Earth-based longitude) at 9:36pm EDT on Wednesday (01:36 GMT on Thursday).

It will be at its peak brightness at 08:37 PM (EDT) and can be seen just after sunset.

The moon will be visible everywhere, and weather permitting, observers will not need binoculars or telescopes – “just their own eyes”, according to Gianluca Masi, founder of the Virtual Telescope Project.

However, NASA recommends using binoculars or a telescope to see more of the moon’s texture.

If you want to watch it live, there are multiple live streams taking place. The Virtual Telescope Project will run a live feed of the super blue moon rising over Rome.

The next blue moons will occur in a pair in January and March 2037. That sounds so strange, 2037.

The first supermoon of 2023 was in July. The fourth and last will be in September.

What about Saturn?

NASA says Saturn will be visible as a bright point 5 degrees to the moon’s upper right at sunset in the east-southeastern sky.

The ringed planet will appear to circle clockwise around the moon as the night wears on.

Is this a bad time for the super blue moon?

The rare blue supermoon could raise tides above normal just as Hurricane Idalia is aiming at Florida’s west coast.

Uh oh, that can’t be good.

Even though a blue supermoon can make for a specatcular scenery and a beautiful backdrop in photos of landmarks around the world, its intensified graviational pull can also make the tides higher.

“I would say the timing is pretty bad for this one,” said Brian Haines, the meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service office in Charleston, South Carolina.

It is expected to make tidal flooding worse not only in Florida but in states such as Georgia and South Carolina, where Haines’s office has been warning residents that parts of Charleston could be underwater by Wednesday night.


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