Blue Supermoon Returns Wait Until 2037 for the Next One

blue supermoon returns wait until 2037 for the next one.jpg Technology

Get ready to feast your eyes on a celestial spectacle as tonight promises a rare glimpse of a blue supermoon. This astronomical event is graced by the presence of a full moon that is not only closer to Earth than usual but is also the second full moon in a single month. This phenomenon, known as a supermoon, makes the moon appear larger and brighter in the night sky due to its proximity to Earth, a point referred to as lunar perigee.

In the ever-changing dance between the Earth and its lunar companion, the moon’s elliptical orbit means its distance from our planet isn’t consistent. Earlier this month, the moon was approximately 222,000 miles away during the full supermoon. In contrast, at its furthest point, known as lunar apogee, the moon is about 252,000 miles away. However, the previous supermoon was obscured by cloudy conditions, but tonight, the UK skywatchers will get another opportunity to marvel at the magnificence of a supermoon.

Awakening the Skygazer Within: The Blue Supermoon

This summer has been a celestial spectacle, with supermoons adorning the night sky. Skywatchers are in for another treat – a third supermoon sighting that will unfold tonight. However, this is not just any supermoon, but a blue supermoon, the second full moon in a single month.

What’s So Special about Supermoons?

Supermoons are full moons that occur closer to Earth than normal, appearing slightly larger and brighter in the sky. This point is known as lunar perigee. The Moon’s orbit is elliptical, meaning it isn’t always the same distance from the planet. For instance, during the full supermoon earlier this month, the Moon was approximately 222,000 miles away. At its furthest point, known as lunar apogee, the distance is around 252,000 miles. Despite the last full supermoon sighting being obscured by cloudy conditions, tonight offers another chance to witness the beauty of a supermoon.

The Blue Supermoon Phenomenon

The blue supermoon is set to peak tonight, rising at around 12.10am, and peaking at about 2.36am, precisely opposite the Sun. However, the Moon should appear full for three days around the peak, from Tuesday night to Friday morning. The best time to see the blue moon is just after sunset. It is visible to the naked eye, but for a better view, binoculars or a telescope come in handy. This rare celestial phenomenon won’t occur again until January 2037, making it a spectacle you wouldn’t want to miss.

How to Catch a Glimpse of the Blue Supermoon

The UK’s Met Office forecasts cloudy skies with evening showers, but there are also expected clear spells. Thursday is likely to be the cloudiest of the three nights, but weather forecasts should be consulted for updates as cloud cover can change.

The Origin of ‘Blue Moon’

The term ‘blue moon’ is a misnomer as per NASA. The moon does not actually turn blue. It is the second full moon in a calendar month with two full moons. Sometimes, a blue moon can also refer to a seasonal blue moon, which is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons. This type of blue moon is much rarer. The phrase ‘once in a blue moon’ originates from this phenomenon, signifying rarity. Blue moons can occur due to water droplets in the air, certain types of clouds, or particles thrown into the atmosphere by natural catastrophes such as volcanic ash and smoke.

Tips for Enjoying the Supermoon

To best enjoy the blue supermoon, find a dark location away from city lights. Be patient, as the moon may take a few minutes to appear in the sky. Consider downloading stargazing apps like Night Sky and Stellarium to better understand where things are in the sky.

My Takeaways

The blue supermoon is not just a celestial event, but a reminder of the grandeur of the universe that often goes unnoticed in our daily lives. It’s a rare phenomenon that adds a dash of magic to the night sky, encouraging us to look up more often and marvel at the wonders that lie beyond our planet. Whether you’re an ardent skygazer or a casual observer, don’t miss this extraordinary event as it won’t happen again until 2037.

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