Blue Moon…. you saw me standing alone…

by Sid Baglini

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

8:15 P.M.

This Full Moon packs a double whammy. It’s a Supermoon, the second this month and it will be the closest this year to the Earth, a mere 222.043 miles from our orb. Even more fantastic, it’s the second Full Moon this month, a rare enough occasion to have spawned the expression “Once in a Blue Moon.” Yes, we will be viewing what is termed a Blue Supermoon, which is a sufficiently superior name to negate the need for any other names this month. This Full Moon will be at its peak at 9:36 P.M. so we’ll be wrapping up our walk very close to the peak.

Here’s a quick review of terminology. A Supermoon occurs when the Full Moon is at or very near the closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit. The next time it will be closer than this will be November 5, 2025. It’s also referred to as a perigean Full Moon which causes the very dramatic perigeal tides along the coasts. It appears about 8% larger and 16% brighter than a non-perigean Moon. This year has been very unusual in that we will experience four Supermoons in a row-July, two in August, and then September’s Full Harvest Moon. A Blue Moon is simply the second Full Moon to occur in a single month, a circumstance that we experience about every two and a half years. Blue Moons inspired a very memorable song by that name covered by various artists. While you need only wait until 2025 for the next Blue Moon, it will be nine years before you can experience another Super Blue Moon so try not to
miss this one!

Our bright companion planet Venus, that was visible for many months in winter, spring and early summer, is now a morning planet, but we will have Saturn to keep us company in the southwest. There will be no meteor showers as Perseids finished on August 24, but stay tuned for a few more showers this Fall, starting with the Draconids in October.

We hope you can join us for this very special Blue Supermoon. We’ll share some information, listen to a tune, revel in the beauty of the night sky, and invite the Blue Moon to work its magic. We meet behind the Borough Hall so you can park by the Library on First Avenue or on Channing Avenue.

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