Get ready to witness a mesmerizing celestial spectacle in the night skies this August 2023. We are lucky enough to bare witness to two breathtaking supermoons in one month. A supermoon occurs when the moon reaches its closest point to Earth in its orbit, known as the perigee. This makes it appear larger and brighter than usual. The astronomical event never fails to captivate moon watchers and stargazers alike. It offers a unique opportunity to marvel at the beauty of our celestial nightlight up close.
First Supermoon: The Sturgeon Moon
The 1st of August 2023 will be an enchanting night indeed. Skywatchers worldwide will be treated to the captivating sight of the Sturgeon Moon. This is a celestial wonder that derives its name from ancient traditions. The Sturgeon Moon earned its name from the indigenous Algonquin tribes, who situated their homes around the Great Lakes and surrounding regions. They saw this moon as a signal that it was the best time to catch sturgeon fish. These Native American cultures observed the abundance of sturgeon fish during this lunar phase. As a result, the Surgeon Moon became a symbol of prosperity and bountiful harvests.
Space.com has announced that the Sturgeon Moon will rise at 2:31 EDT and set at 05:11 EDT. As the clock strikes 1:33 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 1st, the Sturgeon Moon will reach its full potential. It will illuminate the night skies with its radiant glow. For those in North America, the best opportunity to witness this celestial spectacle will be during moonrise in the evening. Depending on where you are located, the time of the supermoon rising will vary.
The Sturgeon Supermoon is also known by several other names, reflecting its significance in various cultural and natural contexts. Some of its alternative names include the Red Moon. This is due to the reddish tint it can take on during moonrises due to atmospheric conditions. Additionally, it is referred to as the Corn Moon, as Native American traditions associated it with the time for harvesting corn crops. The Grain Moon and Barley Moon names highlight its connection to the ripening of grain and barley during this lunar phase.
The Blue Moon
Everyone has heard the phrase, once in a blue moon many times. The phrase gets its credit from the mysterious supermoon that only makes a rare appearance. On August 30th, we are lucky enough to have a second supermoon grace our night sky, and this is what we call a Blue Moon.
On August 30th, 2023, the Blue Moon will grace the night skies during moonrise. The exact time of moonrise on this date will depend on the observer’s location. For those in Eastern Daylight Time, the Blue Moon is expected to rise at approximately 7:10 p.m. EDT. Then, it will set at 6:46 a.m. on Aug. 31. Of course, the BlueMoon won’t actually take on a blue color. It will appear normal but larger than most full Moons. Blue Supermoons are special because they only appear once every two or three years.
As the Earth dances with the moon in its celestial waltz, the dual supermoons of August 2023 will serve as a vivid reminder of the beauty and wonder of our universe. These lunar events present a unique opportunity to connect with the cosmos and appreciate the marvels of the night sky. So, mark your calendars, invite friends and family, and head outdoors to be a part of this celestial extravaganza. Happy moon-watching!
Keep Reading: Ever See A Ring Around The Moon? Here’s What It Means
- “Skywatchers rejoice: This August, you’ll see a rare blue moon − plus another supermoon.” USA Today. Janet Loehrke. July 30 2023.
- “When To See The ‘Super Sturgeon Moon’ Rise, 2023’s Second Supermoon.” Forbes. Jamie Carter. July 25, 2023.
- “Sturgeon Moon And Its Alternative Names Explained. Calendarr. Airene Guha.
- “Two supermoons are coming to our skies in August, including a rare blue moon.” Earth. Chrissy Sexton. July 23, 2023.
- “August will have two super moons – one is a blue moon – here’s why.” WSOCTV. Debbie Lorx. July 31, 2023 .