If you missed the supermoon on August 1 this year, don’t despair. In about two weeks’ time, you’ll have another chance to enjoy the view and take some stunning shots. On August 30, a Super Blue Moon will grace the night sky. But there’s more: on the same day, the moon will come close to Saturn, too., giving you a chance for either photography or just sky gazing.
What are a Blue Moon and a supermoon?
The second full moon in a single month will appear on August 30 at 9:35 p.m. EDT. It will be unique as it’s both a Blue Moon and a supermoon. It will be at its closest proximity to Earth during this time, making it appear larger and brighter.
Since the moon’s orbit isn’t perfectly circular, it can get closer or further away from the Earth. And when it’s closest to the us, we call it a supermoon. According to NASA, the moon will reach its perigee at 11:55 a.m. EDT and it will be 221,942 miles away from Earth, appearing about 7% larger.
As for the Blue moon, the term isn’t solely astronomical. It can either refer to the second Blue Moon of the month (calendrical) or the fourth full moon in a season (seasonal). This August Blue Moon is the calendrical type, as August has two full moons due to its 31-day duration.
When and how to watch the moon?
In New York City, the moon will rise at 7:44 p.m. on August 30. As I mentioned, it will get closer to Saturn, and observers in central Europe will witness the conjunction at 8:07 p.m. local time. As you move eastward, the conjunction happens later in the evening. Watched from Melbourne, Australia, Saturn will appear below the moon.
If you’d like to enjoy the view, you can just stand wherever and gaze at the beautiful, large moon above you. Earlier this month, I enjoyed the view over a supermoon while listening to Still Corners live in concert. I didn’t have my camera with me, I was just enjoying the experience. But you can also throw in a pair of binoculars, a telescope, and of course – your camera with a telephoto lens and a tripod. Of course, keep track of the weather forecast and hope for clear skies!