With the Earth and Moon getting closer in their orbits, August is poised to give us an intriguing astronomical event. This extraordinary occurrence will include not one, but two supermoons, creating a stunning sky spectacle.
These supermoons will make the Moon look bigger and brighter, giving scientists an unmatched opportunity to examine its topography, geological characteristics, and impact craters.
What is a Supermoon?
The Moon looks bigger and brighter than normal during a supermoon, a beautiful celestial phenomenon. This fascinating event occurs when a full or new moon coincides with the perigee, or closest point in the Moon’s elliptical orbit, where it makes its closest approach to Earth.
The Moon’s Orbit and Perigee
Because of the Moon’s somewhat elliptical orbit around Earth, its distance from our planet varies during the course of its orbit. The Moon’s apogee, or furthest point, is around 405,000 kilometers distant, while its perigee, or closest point, is 363,104 kilometers away.
The visual spectacle of a supermoon is greatly aided by this difference of around 27,000 miles (42,000 kilometers), which is significant.
Brightness and Size of a Supermoon
A supermoon may make the moon appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter in the sky than a typical full moon. The supermoon might give the impression that Earth is closer since it seems considerably larger than normal when it rises on the horizon.
Two Supermoons in August
A double celestial feast, August will give us not one but two supermoons. Tuesday night will see the appearance of the first supermoon, which will be visible in the sky when it passes within 357,530 kilometers of Earth.
The second supermoon, sometimes referred to as a blue moon, will take place on August 30 throughout the night at a closer distance of 357,344 kilometers. The occurrence of two full moons in the same month is known as a “blue moon,” and it is a somewhat uncommon phenomena.
A Rare Event
This occurrence of two supermoons in one month is unusual. Gianluca Masi, the Italian astronomer who founded the Virtual Telescope Project, said that the last time we saw two full supermoons in the same month was in 2018, and it won’t happen again until 2037.
Live Webcast from Rome
Gianluca Masi has exciting plans to broadcast the supermoon’s ascent over Rome’s Coliseum live on the internet on Tuesday night. The opportunity to witness the event’s beauty and fully absorb its emotion will be provided through this broadcast to people all around the world.
The Best Time to Observe
Clear skies are necessary for people who want to watch these celestial phenomena. Using binoculars or a backyard telescope may improve the experience by displaying details like lunar maria, which are black plains created by old volcanic lava flows, and rays coming from lunar craters.
The Sturgeon Moon
Due to the large number of sturgeon fish that were present in the Great Lakes in August hundreds of years ago, the full moon in August is customarily referred to as the “sturgeon moon.” Due to its supermoon status, the sturgeon moon this year is expected to provide a spectacular display.
Two supermoons will grace the celestial stage in August, making it an exciting month for both sky watchers and astronomers. Don’t pass up this opportunity to see the Moon at its largest and brightest, exposing all of its intriguing aspects and giving a touch of enchantment to the night sky. Keep in mind to mark your calendars and watch for these stunning supermoons.