Two supermoons will be visible from earth this week
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A supermoon is an amazing sight, but two supermoons? Simply spectacular!
Space must really be in a good mood to be providing us with a rare sight this week after predictions came out stating that August will feature a pair of supermoons being visible - peaking at a rare blue moon.
Due to be visible to the naked eye on Tuesday evening (1 August), spectators will be able to see a full moon rise, which will seem to be brighter and bigger than usual.
This is actually because it will be closer than normal as it’s slowly drifting away from us, with just 222,159 miles between Earth and the Moon’s cold surface.
Because it’s so close, it is deemed a supermoon, which will be even closer in the evening of 30 August - 222,043 miles away.
The reason for this is because it will then be the second time a full moon has dropped in the same month, which is known as a rare blue moon as this doesn’t happen ordinarily.
A retired NASA astrophysicist went on to explain to The Associated Press what it means: “Warm summer nights are the ideal time to watch the full moon rise in the eastern sky within minutes of sunset. And it happens twice in August.”
Fred Espenak, who is known as ‘Mr. Eclipse’ is renowned for his knowledge on all things moon, but he isn’t the only one who loves to get up close to the large grey rock.
Gianluca Masi, an Italian astronomer, and founder of the Virtual Telescope Project explained that the last time two full supermoons occurred in the same month was in 2018, and it is unlikely to happen again until 2037, so now is your chance to catch it!
The astronomer will be providing a live webcast of Tuesday’s supermoon as it rises over the Coliseum in Rome so that even those who miss the spectacular view will be able to see its size.
Writing in an email, Masi said: “My plans are to capture the beauty of this ... hopefully bringing the emotion of the show to our viewers."
“The supermoon offers us a great opportunity to look up and discover the sky,” he added in his message to the publication.
But even though it’s a rare occurrence to have two supermoons in one month, we’ve previously had our first supermoon this year in July.
Counting the two that are due next month, the fourth and last moon of this kind will be happening in September and won’t be as close as the August variants.
If you are hoping to catch a glimpse of this rare beauty - if the weather calls for it - make sure that you are equipped with binoculars or a telescope to enhance the experience.
Espenak seconds this advice as it shows features such as lunar maria, which are the dark plains formed by ancient volcanic lava flows.
The August full moon is apparently known as the sturgeon moon due to the population of that type of fish in the Great Lakes in August hundreds of years ago, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which gives it a cool meaning.
Will you be out with your telescope and garden chair?