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Written by on 30/08/2023

Tonight, a rare ‘blue’ supermoon will rise over Australian skies. Here’s a quick rundown to fill you in on the astrological rarity.

What is a bluemoon?

Sadly, a blue moon isn’t actually blue, it’s simply the description given to a second full moon in a single calendar month, which only happens every two and a half (hence the term “once in a blue moon”)

So, what’s a supermoon?

Our moon doesn’t orbit Earth in a perfect circle, so there are times when it is closer and times when it’s further away.

“Supermoon” isn’t a technical term, it’s a nickname for when there’s a full moon at the same time as when it’s closest to Earth.

The moon itself doesn’t change size but, because it’s closer to Earth, it looks bigger and brighter to us earthlings.

How much bigger will the moon look?

Matt Woods from the Perth Observatory says tonight’s moon will look about seven per cent bigger than a normal full moon.

That’s just a small fraction bigger, so the size difference might not seem all that dramatic.

However, Mr Woods says the moon will be noticeably brighter.

What time will I be able to see the blue moon?

Tonight and tomorrow night.

Look east at dusk, just as the moon is rising.

“It’s always best to see low on the horizon,” Mr Woods says.

“There’s that optical illusion where it looks bigger than it does.”

NASA says blue moons usually only happen about once every two-and-a-half years.

Supermoons are a little more common — we generally get three or four of those each year.

When does this happen again?

The next blue moon won’t take place until May 2026, while the next super blue moon will not be until sometime in 2029.

Article compiled from various sources including ABC News and news.com.au



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