Full moons, supermoons, blue moons and a meteor shower. When to see them all in August

Full moons, supermoons, blue moons and a meteor shower. When to see them all in August

There’s a lot going on in the sky this month. Not only do we have two full moons in August, but both of them are supermoons. Oh, and there’s a meteor shower.

There are actually four supermoons in a row this year, a very unusual occurrence. The first one, coming Tuesday, August 1, is the second in the series. The August full moon is called the “Sturgeon Moon.”

At the end of the month, we’ll see another supermoon, this one a “Blue Moon.”

Meanwhile, the Perseids meteor shower is going on, from July 14 to September 1. The peak nights to watch will be August 12-13.

And the solar system’s second-biggest planet will be highly visible this month. Saturn, its rings, and some of its 83 moons will be the most visible on Aug. 27.

Here’s what’s coming in the sky this month.

When are the full moons taking place this month?

The first full moon also referred to as the Sturgeon Moon, will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 1. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the moon will reach its peak at 2:32 p.m. If you miss the peak, no worries. It will still appear full on Aug. 2.

The second full moon of the month, also referred to as a blue moon, will take place Wednesday, Aug. 30 and will reach its peak at 9:36 p.m. It will also appear full the day prior to and following its peak.

Not only will this blue moon be a supermoon, but it will be the biggest full moon in 2023, coming the closest to Earth of any full moon this year.

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What is a supermoon?

The moon travels around the Earth in an oval-shaped orbit, called an ellipse. When a full moon coincides with the point in the moon’s orbit that’s the closest to the Earth, it’s called a supermoon.

A supermoon can appear to be up to 8% larger and 16% brighter than a regular full moon, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, due to its proximity. When it occurs while the moon is on or near the horizon, it can look huge.

What is the difference between a full moon and a supermoon?

Full moons happen every lunar month, but there are usually only three or four supermoons a year. This year’s run of four in a row is very rare.

The name “supermoon” was coined by an astrologer in 1979, NASA said. Astronomers call it a perigean full moon.

What is the Sturgeon Moon?

According to the Farmers Almanac, August’s full moon was traditionally called the Sturgeon Moon because that’s when the giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were easier to catch.

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