Exciting news for astronomy enthusiasts in Houston! This August, we’re being graced with not one, but two breathtaking supermoons. The first one, known as the sturgeon moon, illuminated our skies on August 1, 2023. But that’s not all – the second full moon of the month, which will occur on August 30, 2023, will be a rare and captivating blue moon. Get ready to witness these awe-inspiring celestial events in the coming weeks!
Despite its misleading name, a blue moon does not possess a blue hue; rather, it denotes the occurrence of a second full moon within a single month. A typical moon cycle spans around 29 days, while most months extend to 30 or 31 days, making it uncommon for two supermoons to grace the sky within one month. This phenomenon explains the popular saying, “once in a blue moon.” The previous blue moon was visible in 2021.
What is a supermoon?
As per NASA’s explanation, a supermoon happens when the moon reaches its closest point to Earth, coinciding with its full phase, known as ‘perigee’ in astronomical terms. Astrologer Richard Nolle, credited with coining the term, defines a full moon or new moon as a supermoon if it occurs when the moon is within 90 percent of its nearest distance to Earth. This results in the moon appearing significantly brighter and larger than its regular size.
When can you see the supermoons in Houston?
The initial supermoon will reach its highest point at approximately 13:32 pm on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, whereas the second supermoon, also known as the blue moon, will be visible in our skies around 8:36 p.m. on Thursday, August 30.
Read more about blue moons here.