In August, the cosmos treats us to a captivating celestial event with a double feature: two supermoons culminating in a rare blue moon.
The first event can be witnessed on Tuesday evening as the moon rises above the southeast horizon, appearing more significant and slightly brighter than usual.
This remarkable phenomenon is attributed to its closer-than-normal proximity, just 222,159 miles away, earning it the title of a supermoon.
Prepare for an even closer encounter with the moon on August 30, when it will be a mere 222,043 miles distant. The blue moon is the second full moon of the month.
August provides the perfect setting for this lunar spectacle, as warm summer nights allow the full moon to rise in the eastern sky shortly after sunset, not just once, but twice.
The last occurrence of two full supermoons in the same month of a single year was in 2018, and there will not be another such sighting until 2037, according to the founder of the Virtual Telescope Project, Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi.
For those unable to witness it in person, Gianluca Masi will host a live webcast of the Tuesday evening supermoon as it graces the skies over the Coliseum in Rome, capturing the beauty and emotions of the event for viewers.
July was when the first supermoon appeared this year, and the last one will appear in September. However, the two supermoons in August will be even closer than previous moons.
With clear skies, backyard telescopes or binoculars will improve the experience by revealing fascinating features such as dark plains created by ancient volcanic lava flows, lunar maria, and rays coming from lunar craters on the surface.
In folklore, hundreds of years ago, Sturgeon fish were abundant in the Great Lakes during the August full moon. This fish phenomenon prompted the name sturgeon moon. Embrace this fantastic opportunity to look up and discover the wonders of the sky presented by the supermoon.