On the Last Day of Summer, a “Blue” Supermoon Will Grace the Skies
During the night of August 31, inhabitants of our planet will have the opportunity to witness a phenomenon known as a "Blue Moon". The term is not related to the moon's color but rather to the idiom "Once in a Blue Moon," meaning something that happens very rarely.
This event has been reported by Space.com.
Since the 1940s, the term "Blue Moon" has been used to refer to the second of two full moons occurring within a single calendar month. Therefore, in August, the second full moon, which falls on a Wednesday, is classified as a "Blue Moon." Similar to the first full moon on August 1, this "Blue Moon" will also be a Supermoon, appearing larger in the sky due to its closer proximity to Earth.
The "Blue Moon" will rise on Thursday, just before sunrise, at approximately 6:46 AM Eastern Time (10:46 AM Greenwich Mean Time).
As explained earlier, a "Blue Moon" is typically the second full moon within a single calendar month (although technically it refers to the third full moon in a season with four full moons). Full moons occur about 12.4 times a year, which means that every 2.8 years, within a 12-month period, there are 13 full moons. Hence, one of these months must contain two full moons, giving rise to the term "Blue Moon."
Considering that a lunar cycle takes about 29.5 days to transition from one full moon to the next, this month featured a "Sturgeon Moon" at the beginning of the month and a second "Blue Moon" at the end of the month. However, not all "Blue Moons" are Supermoons, like the full moon on August 30.
A Supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with the moon being closer to Earth in its elliptical orbit, rather than at its apogee (farthest point) in the orbit. Due to this elliptical orbit, the distance between Earth and the Moon during perigee (closest point) and apogee varies by about 14%, ranging from approximately 220,000 miles (350,000 kilometers) to 253,000 miles (408,000 kilometers).
Because of this difference in distance, the Moon may appear slightly larger and brighter during a Supermoon, although this might not be noticeable to everyone except those with substantial lunar observation experience. Clear skies, binoculars, or a telescope could enhance the experience. Experts note that this is an optimal time to observe lunar seas – dark plains formed by ancient volcanic lava flows – as well as the rays emanating from lunar craters.
Coincidences of a "Blue Moon" and a "Supermoon" are far rarer than individual occurrences of each. Despite the potential for two Super Blue Moons in a single month, they can also be separated by periods of up to 20 years. According to NASA, the average time between Super Blue Moons is around 10 years.
The next Super Blue Moon after August 30, 2023, will take place in January 2037, followed by another in March 2037. While not a Super Blue Moon, observers will also have the chance to witness the fourth and final Supermoon of 2023 in September.
As reported by The Gaze, India achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first country to land a space module on the dark side of the Moon. The "Vikram" module of the "Chandrayaan-3" mission successfully touched down on the Moon's southern pole.