Once in a blue moon, we get to see a super blue moon.
People across Ireland will have the rare opportunity to spot a super blue moon later this week as the phenomenon hits the skies for the first time in over a decade.
Not appearing again until 2037, the rare moon can be seen across the country for around three nights, which should hopefully provide ample opportunity for clear sky viewing.
Regular blue moons appear every two to three years when there are two full moons in a single calendar month and super moons occur around three times a year when a full moon happens at its closest point to the earth.
However, a super blue moon, when both phenomena happen at the same time, is seen as an astronomical anomaly.
This year’s super blue moon occurs as it will be within 360,000 kilometres of Earth.
?NEWS: Biggest and brightest (Blue) Moon of the year is almost here, the next time will only be seen in 2037. pic.twitter.com/GeXCU7hlDv
— Amazing Astronomy (@MAstronomers) August 24, 2023
Next super blue moon is not until 2037
David Moore of Astronomy Ireland told The Irish Times:
“As there are 12 full moons every year that means there have been 168 full moons to give one super blue moon.
“Technically, the exact instant the moon is full is Wednesday night as seen from Ireland. However, to the naked eye it looks full the night before and after.”
Despite its name, a blue moon is not actually blue and it retains its yellow-white colour.
Moore added on the Astronomy Ireland website:
“The Moon is full of details to see like craters, mountains, vast lava lakes and more. It is by the far the most spectacular object to see in a telescope.”
The ideal time to watch in Ireland is on Tuesday from 8:15 p.m.; on Wednesday from 8:35 p.m.; and on Thursday from 8:50 p.m., when the moon rises.
Astronomy Ireland has appealed to members of the public to send in their best photographs of the event, with details available on their website.
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