Good news sky gazers: Two supermoons are set to light up Brisbane’s skies this August, including a spectacular blue moon in a rare celestial event. First up is the sturgeon moon which will appear above our skies on August 2, 2023, and the second full moon will be a blue moon which will rise on August 31, 2023.
Contrary to what its name suggests, a blue moon is not actually blue in colour. It simply refers to frequency or the appearance of a second full moon in a single month. A moon’s complete cycle typically takes around 29 days and most months are longer at 30 or 31 days, which is why it’s rare for two supermoons to appear in the sky in the same month — hence the saying, “once in a blue moon.” The last blue moon was visible in 2021.
What is a supermoon?
According to NASA: A supermoon occurs when the moon’s orbit is closest to Earth — at the same time it is full; astronomers call this ‘perigee’. According to astrologer Richard Nolle, who also coined the term — a full moon or new moon is a supermoon when it’s also within 90% of its closest point to Earth. This simply means the moon is substantially brighter and larger than usual.
When can you see the supermoons in Australia?
The first supermoon will peak at around 4.32am AEST on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 while the second supermoon or blue moon will appear in our skies around 11.36am AEST on Thursday, August 31.
Read all about blue moons here.