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The Last Super Blue Moon Of This Decade Is Only Days Away

The last time a super blue moon appeared was Jan. 31, 2018, and we’ll have to wait a long time until the next one.

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TURIN, ITALY - AUGUST 02: The Sturgeon Super Moon is seen on August 2, 2023 in Turin, Italy. This is...
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You really don’t want to miss the second full moon of the month. August’s special blue supermoon is just days away, marking the third of four consecutive supermoons this summer, and the last super blue moon until 2037.

Yes, really. Here’s everything you need to know about August’s super blue moon — the second full moon of the month — including how to see it and why it’s so rare.

What is a supermoon?

A supermoon happens when the full moon is closer to Earth than normal in its oval-shaped path around us. The definition of a supermoon was coined by astronomer Fred Espenak, who noted that a supermoon happens when a full moon occurs “within 90% of its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit,” per EarthSky.

When the Moon is that close to the Earth, it appears way larger in our skies than a typical Full Moon, and that difference is clearly seen to the naked eye.

What is a blue moon?

Supermoons are cool on their own, but when we have a super blue moon, there’s really an added sprinkle of special — and rarity.

First, let’s dispel a myth: Blue moons aren’t actually blue. Instead, it's a special term used to note when there are two full moons in the same month on our calendar. This type of moon is considered rare because we don’t often have two Full Moons in a month, per Instead, a Full Moon happens approximately every 29.5 days. Since most months are longer than that, it’s rare that we see two full moons in one month. According to NightSky, the rare Blue Moon is what coined the common phrase “once in a Blue Moon.” Adding in a supermoon to the mix — the moon appearing larger than life — is an even rarer occurrence. The time between super blue moons can last as long as 10 to 20 years, per NASA.

The last time a super blue moon appeared was Jan. 31, 2018; now we'll see another one in just a few days. However, we won’t see another super blue moon until 2037, meaning that tonight’s our last chance for over a decade. But, the wait will be well worth it — according to NASA, we’ll see two super blue moons that year in January and March.

When is August’s super blue moon happening?

The super blue moon will light up the sky overnight between August 30-31, 2023. You don’t need any special equipment to view it — it’s going to be huge and in your face. Just look up at the sky after night falls. The moon will reach peak illumination at 9:36 P.M. ET.

“The moon will be 222,043 miles (357,344 km) away,” according to EarthSky. “Comparatively, the average distance between Earth and the moon is 240,000 miles (386,242 km).”

Up next for cool happenings with the moon comes September’s full harvest moon, which will reach its peak in the early hours of September 29, 2023. The next blue moon won't happen again until May 2026, according to NightSky.

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