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Business News/ Science / Two supermoons and a rare blue moon to grace the sky in August, check details
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Two supermoons and a rare blue moon to grace the sky in August, check details

In August 2023, there will be two supermoons and a blue moon. The first supermoon, called the Sturgeon Moon, will peak on 2nd August, and the blue moon will be visible on 31st August.

In August 2023, there will be two supermoons and a blue moon. The supermoons will be on 3 July and 29 September, and the blue moon will be on August 30. (AP)Premium
In August 2023, there will be two supermoons and a blue moon. The supermoons will be on 3 July and 29 September, and the blue moon will be on August 30. (AP)

In August 2023, stargazers will have the rare opportunity to witness two supermoons along with the appearance of a blue moon. 

What is a supermoon?

A supermoon occurs when the full moon's orbit brings it closest to Earth during its elliptical path around our planet. At its farthest point the moon stands around 4,05,500 KM away known as apogee. 

At its closest point, known as perigee the distance decreases to approximately 3,63,300 KM, the full moon appears larger and brighter than usual. This year's supermoon cycle is unique as it includes four consecutive supermoons, with the first appearing on July 3 and the last on September 29, reported earth.com.

Also read: Humans living on Moon: Chandrayaan-3 to explore possibilities, says Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh

The size and brightness of a supermoon vary depending on the distance of the moon at perigee and the amount of light it reflects from the sun implying not all supermoons are equal.

What is a blue moon?

A blue moon, on the other hand, is not related to the moon's colour but refers to the second full moon occurring within a single calendar month. Since most months are longer than the lunar cycle of approximately 29 days, it is possible for two full moons to occur in the same month occasionally. 

Blue moons are relatively infrequent events, happening approximately once every two and a half years. The year 1999 had two blue moons: one in January and one in March, with no full moon in February.

Also read: Mission moon: China to launch next-generation crewed spacecraft as early as 2027. Details here

When to watch the celestial event?

August will showcase two full moons, both of which will be supermoons. The first one, known as the Sturgeon Moon, will peak on August 2 at 12:01 AM (Indian time). 

The name "Sturgeon Moon" comes from some Native American groups, particularly those in the Great Lakes region, who found that sturgeon fishes were most abundantly caught during this month, as per earth.com.

The second full moon, a blue moon, will be visible on August 31, reaching its peak at 7:05 am (Indian time). This particular blue moon will also be a supermoon, making it the closest full moon to Earth for the entire year.

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Published: 21 Jul 2023, 09:16 AM IST
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