The month of August is a special one for skygazers as they will get a chance to witness a second supermoon, a rare phenomenon called the blue moon. A supermoon is called so because the moon appears significantly large in the sky since it is the closest to Earth at a time when it is full. The first supermoon of August occurred on the first day of the month when the moon was 357,530km away from the Earth. The second one will take place on August 30, and the moon will be even closer – 357,244 km from the Earth.
What is a blue moon?
It is a phenomenon when an additional full moon appears in a subdivision of a year – the third of four full moons in a season.
Though it’s called blue moon, it doesn’t have anything to do with colour.
There are two types of blue moon – seasonal and monthly – according to space.com.
Why is a blue moon special?
The term is often associated with something rare. We often use the phrase “once in a blue moon”. Similarly, a blue moon is special because it is the extra moon in a season with four full moons.
According to NASA, this usually only happens every two-and-a-half years. Since the 1940s, the term “blue moon” has also been used for the second full moon in a calendar month. This usually happens only every two-and-a-half years.
Explaining the phases of the moon, the space agency further said that there are roughly 29.5 days between full moons, so February will never experience a monthly Blue Moon as it only has 28 days in a common year and 29 in a leap year.
Sometimes February doesn’t have a Full Moon at all, this is known as a Black Moon, according to Time and Date.