'Biggest, brightest' rare blue supermoon can be seen this week: What to know
This blue supermoon can be seen the night of Aug. 30. InTheSky.org predicts the supermoon will rise at 7:10 p.m. ET (2310 GMT) and set at 6:46 a.m. ET (1146 GMT) on Aug. 31.
Observers on the ground may notice a slightly larger moon at this time, but only by about 7%, Space.com writes. Saturn will also be especially bright that night, as the gas giant will be at the point where it lies directly opposite the sun as it is seen from Earth.
Skygazers across the U.S. can see Saturn in the constellation Aquarius, which is above and to the right of the moon, while those in the Southern Hemisphere can see the planet right below the moon.
“Warm summer nights are the ideal time to watch the full moon rise in the eastern sky within minutes of sunset,” retired NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak told Nexstar’s WPIX.
According to NASA, a “supermoon” occurs when a full moon passes through “perigee,” or the point in its orbit when it’s closest to Earth, causing it to appear large and bright in the sky. A “blue moon” occurs when a full moon is seen twice in a single month — and it doesn’t have to do with color.
August’s first full moon, the Sturgeon Moon, happened the night of Aug. 1.
Blue moons are relatively frequent by astronomical standards, Space.com said, occurring once every two to three years.