Shortly before 8 p.m. on Wednesday would be a great time to check out the moonrise, weather permitting. That’s because it will be a super moon, and a blue moon, too.
Blue moons are simply quirks of the calendar that occur every two to three years when there is a second full moon in a calendar month, and our most recent full moon occurred on Aug. 1. The next time a blue moon will be a super moon will occur in January of 2037, according to a NASA informational site. Another will occur just two months later.
Wednesday’s super moon should be worth a look, however, because it will appear larger and brighter than at any other time this year. That’s because the moon will be at its perigee in relation to earth, slightly more than 222,000 miles away, which will be the closest approach of all the full moons in 2023. Just two weeks ago it was more than 252,000 miles away, when it was at apogee.
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Because it has an elliptical orbit, the moon has a perigee (closest orbital approach) and an apogee (farthest) every month. This week’s perigee will be the moon’s second closest approach to earth this year. Its closest approach of slightly more than 221,500 miles came on Jan. 21, when the moon was not visible.
The best time to view a super moon is at moonrise or moonset. Wednesday’s moon will rise at 7:55 p.m., 15 minutes after sunset. It will appear nearly full on Thursday, too, with moonrise at 8:24 p.m.