It’s Super Blue Moon time!
This means that it will be the second time a full moon rises in August and, in addition, that the full moon coincides with the time that it is closest to Earth in the month.
The Moon won’t appear blue – this is just a popular term to describe a second full Moon in a calendar month. While the Moon won’t actually turn blue, it’s still worth going out and observing the Moon, as blue moons only occur once every 2 or 3 years! To add to the excitement, this blue moon is also a supermoon! Find out what that means here.
Why are we saying there are two nights to see a full Moon rise? There is actually a specific time that the Moon is 100% full. This happens to be at 9.35am on 31st August 2023 (WA time). At this precise moment, the Moon won’t be visible in our WA sky, however the closest evenings to see the fullest possible moon rise are the 30th and 31st August.
Pack an evening picnic. Find a location where you have a clear view to the eastern horizon. Rally family and friends and enjoy a lovely evening watching as our nearest celestial neighbour rises.
When to look:
30th August, from 5.03pm. The Sun won’t have set at this time, so it will be harder to see the Moon rise. However, as it gets a bit darker, you’ll have no trouble!
31st August from 6:17pm. The Sun will have just set, and this will make it easier to see the Moon as soon as it starts to rise.
Which direction to look: The Moon rises in the east.
In recent times, a Blue Moon refers to the second full Moon that occurs in a calendar month. However, did you know that it also refers to an extra full Moon that appears in a season? The third of the four full Moons in a season is the Blue Moon.
The chance for an extra full Moon in a month or in a season happens because the Moon takes 29.53 days to orbit Earth. 29.53 days is shorter than all calendar months (except February) and gives the opportunity for us to have the extra full Moon.
What craters can you see on the Moon?
When you observe the Moon, take it one step further and identify a crater or two! There are some great tools that help you out with maps of all the features on the surface of the Moon. Before you know it, you’ll be pointing out the Tycho Crater or the Sea of Tranquillity to friends and family! Try some of these free apps and software:
Moon Globe (for iOS)
Moon Atlas 3D (for Android)
LunarMap Lite (for Android)