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  • Niranjana

What is a Blue Moon and a Super Moon? When will Super Blue Moon Occur?

I see the sunlight once in a Blue moon. From this sentence, we can gather two pieces of information: I do not engage in physical activity & blue moons are rare. The expression "once in a blue moon" always turns up in a conversation once in a white moon.

In other words, it happens far too commonly. We understand blue moons are rare, but what do they look like? Blue is the color that comes to mind, the pigment of Smurfs. Well, that's more like an expression. Let us look into the fascinating science behind "Super Blue" moons.

What is a Blue moon? How often does a Blue Moon occur?

Let's take a look at the textbook definition of a blue moon. What is a Blue moon? How often does a Blue Moon occur? Every 13th full moon is a blue moon. To put this into textbook perspective, we usually only have 12 full moons in a year. Thirteen may not ring a friendly reminder to many, but blue moons are beautiful sights.

The moon takes 29.5 days to complete one lunar cycle. A lunar cycle is defined as a moon cycle that includes a new moon phase to a full moon phase. The moon takes 354 days to complete 12 lunar cycles in 12 months, one every month. For a blue moon to occur, the odds have to be perfect. That means the odd moon happens every 2.5 years.

Super Blue Moon
Super Blue Moon

Why is a Blue moon called a Blue moon?

Now we have established that the Blue moon happens about every 2.5 years, there seems to be an indication that the blue moon isn't blue. For those who suspected this theory, they are right. If that is the theory, Why is the blue moon called the blue moon? The blue moon spawns from a 16th-century saying, "The Moon is Blue".

By using the expression, the civilians indicated something impossible or unlikely. Since a blue moon seemed impossible, people were astonished for the next two years following the Krakatoa volcanic explosions, more blue moons were visible. Eventually, the spell wore off. The 13th full moon was coined as a blue moon because of its rarity and slight possibility.

What is a Super Blue Moon? When will the Super Blue Moon occur?

On August 30th and 31st, 2023, the world will be able to, view a super blue moon. Why super? Well! This isn't about Superman, though the blue moon and super moon will occur on the same day. This occurrence takes place about every 20-30 years. First, let me explain what a super moon is.

To define a super moon, let's look at the moon's elliptical orbit. The moon travels around the Earth in an elongated circle or an oval. Once a month, the moon passes through a point closest to the Earth, known as the perigee.

When the full moon is closest to the Earth, it's called a Super Moon. This phenomena causes the super moon to appear bigger or closer to the Earth. Although the size won't be noticeable, the bright light will.

Do Blue Moons and Super Moons always occur together?

Unfortunately, super moons and blue moons rarely occur together. A super moon only takes place 3 or 4 times a year. Blue moons only take place every 2.5 years. A super moon and blue moon occur together, the timing has to be perfect.

To put this context perceivable, 25% of all full moons are super moons. Only 3% of all full moons are blue moons. Super blue moons have irregular showtimes, and average showtimes are every 10-20 years. The next super moon and blue moon mix will happen in January and March 2037.

With the once-in-a-decade super blue moon around the corner, you may wonder how to view this sight. Get your blankets, chairs, and telescopes ready to view the moon on August 30, 2023, at 9:36 PM EDT.

This super blue moon can be observed from any open field or area. If you are ecstatic about the super blue moon, I recommend NASA's Daily Moon Guide. Everyone should get a chance to view this once-in-a-blue-moon meet-up. Till then, I'll catch you looking at the same moon.


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