August 30 means today’s moon is very special. Today Full Moon, Supermoon, and Blue Moon all three are falling together. This astronomical phenomenon is called the ‘Super Blue Moon’. What is the meaning of this interesting term related to the moon? Will the moon turn blue in the sky today? After how many days does this sight appear?
Answers to 7 important questions
Question-1: What is a supermoon?
The Moon revolves around the Earth in an elliptical orbit. That’s why the distance between the Earth and the Moon keeps on changing every day.
- जब चांद पृथ्वी से सबसे ज्यादा दूर होता है तो उसे एपोजी (Apogee) कहते हैं।
- जब चांद पृथ्वी के सबसे करीब होता है तो, उसे पेरिजी (Perigee) कहते हैं।
When the moon is perigee ie closest to the earth and a full moon occurs, it is called a supermoon. In 1979, astrologer Richard Knoll used the term ‘supermoon’ for the first time.
During a supermoon, the moon appears 14% larger and 30% brighter than Earth. It is worth noting here that neither the size nor the brightness of the moon changes. But on that day when it is near the earth, it is felt to be big and shiny.
Question 2: Supermoon is understood, but what is this blue moon?
One cycle of the moon is 29.5 days. When a full moon occurs twice in a calendar month, it is called a ‘Blue Moon’. For example, there was a full moon on the 1st of August 2023, now second full moon falls on the 30th of August, hence it is called a Blue Moon.
Usually, this happens once every 2 to 3 years. A full Moon, Supermoon, and Blue Moon all three are falling on 30 August, hence it is being called a ‘Super Blue Moon’.
Question 3: Will the moon appear blue on the day of the Super Blue Moon?
Here the word blue moon has nothing to do with the color of the moon. From the year 1940, this trend started that if two full moons i.e. full moon occurs in the same month, then the second full moon will be called Blue Moon. Since this day is also a supermoon, the moon will appear bigger and brighter on this day, but not blue.
Question 4: Can the moon ever turn blue?
Yes, but it is not normal. This happens only when the atmosphere of a place is like this. Like a volcano has erupted somewhere. Or for some reason such a cloud of smoke has formed that the mist has dissolved in the air.
According to NASA, in the year 1883, Krakatoa volcano erupted in Indonesia and the ash released from it went up to 80 km in the air. Ashes spread in the entire atmosphere there. Particles smaller than a micron of this ash started working like a filter.
The red light coming from the moon was split into blue and green. Due to this, the moon started appearing blue and green at that place.
The same happened during the 1983 eruption of the El Zion volcano in Mexico. Similarly, in 1980 St Helens and in 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcano erupted, and the moon started appearing blue.
Question 5: What is the best time to watch the Super Blue Moon?
The best time to watch the Super Blue Moon is just after sunset. At this time it looks most beautiful. According to British Summer Time, people in London will be able to see it at 8:08 pm. At the same time, according to Eastern Daylight Time in New York, America, the moon will rise at 7:45 in the evening. In this time zone, the moon will appear brightest at 8:37 p.m.
Question 6: Do blue moons and supermoons always happen together?
No, this does not happen. A supermoon occurs when the full moon is closest to the Earth, that is, at its perigee point. This happens three to four times in a year. It is so common that 25% of full moons are supermoons.
However, superblue moons are not that common. Only 3% of full moons are super blue moons. There is also a difference between the two regarding time. A supermoon happens three to four times a year, but the time gap of a Blue Supermoon is longer. It can be from 10 years to 20 years. For example, the next blue supermoon will happen in the year 2037, i.e. 14 years from now.
Question 7: Which rare astronomical events can be seen in the coming days?
- 14 October 2023: A solar eclipse will take place on 14 October this year. It will cross North, Central, and South America. Along with America, it can be seen in Mexico and South to Central America.
- 28-29 October 2023: There will be a partial lunar eclipse on this day. In this, the Moon will pass through the shadow of the Earth, but the shadow of the Earth will fall on a very small part of the Moon. Hence it is a partial lunar eclipse. It can be seen across Europe including Asia, Africa, and Western Australia.
- 3 November 2023: On this day Jupiter i.e. Jupiter will pass through near the Earth. Due to its brightness, it can be easily seen from the Earth all night. According to Space.com, this will be the best opportunity to see and photograph Jupiter.
- December 4, 2023: The planet Mercury will be 21.3 degrees east while orbiting the Sun. This would be the best time to see Mercury.