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Extremely rare 'Blue Supermoon' to light up the skies this week

Extremely rare 'Blue Supermoon' to light up the skies this week

Time to whip out those binoculars

Calling all sky-gazers, budding astronomers and anyone who likes a proper good light show - be sure to crane your neck upwards to catch a glimpse of the extremely rare 'Blue Supermoon' which will be lighting up the skies this week.

Be sure to keep an eye out as the cosmic phenomenon only comes around once every two to three years.

So, considering that the last Blue Moon rose back in August 2021, and the next one isn't expected to rise until August 2024 - you'll want to get those binoculars out!

The 'Blue Supermoon' will be visible in the sky this week.
Colin Wooderson / 500px / Getty Images

According to NASA, the name 'supermoon' was coined by an astrologer back in 1979.

"[It] is often used by the media today to describe what astronomers would call a perigean full moon: a full moon occurring near or at the time when the Moon is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth," the government agency explains.

Not only will we see a wonderful full moon in all its glory but it is also a Blue Moon - meaning that it's the third full moon in a season that has four full moons.

The Blue Moon is now the second full moon this month following the Full Sturgeon Moon which rose at the very start of the month on 1 August.

The lunar event will also see the moon become larger but only by about seven percent, according to Space.com.

"Warm summer nights are the ideal time to watch the full moon rise in the eastern sky within minutes of sunset," explained retired NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak to Nexstar’s WPIX.

So when, exactly, do you need to be keeping your peepers peeled?

Keep an eye on the sky on Wednesday (30 August) to catch the lunar event.
lonelly / Getty Images

Well, InTheSky.org forecasts that the rare 'Blue Supermoon' will be visible on Wednesday (30 August) predicting that the moon will rise at 12.10am (7.10pm ET) and set at 11/46am (6.46am ET) on Thursday (31 August).

And if you're more into your planets than your moon then not to worry as the Blue Moon of August 2023 will also be joined by a special guest in the sky - gassy giant Saturn.

The planet, which is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second-largest in the Solar System after Jupiter, will also be particularly illuminated that same evening.

This is because it will be at a point in the sky where it lies directly opposite the sun as it is seen from Earth.

Skygazers hailing from the US will be able to see the planet in the constellation Aquarius, located above and to the right of the moon, while those in the Southern Hemisphere will be able to see the planet just below the moon.

So mark your calendars, dust off those binoculars and get ready for the exciting cosmic phenomenon set to light up our skies tomorrow.

Featured Image Credit: Colin Wooderson/500 px/WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Topics: Space, News