February 24, 2024
Full Moons are called blue when they are the second one that month and the third one in a season of four.

The full Moon rising Wednesday evening over the Bay Area is being called a Super Blue Moon.

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Prepare for a stunning double-supermoon display in August

Why super? Any time a full Moon coincides with the Moon’s closest approach to Earth in its 27-day orbit, that Moon is referred to as a perigean or Super Moon. The Moon at its perigee, or closest point of orbit, is approximately 226,000 miles from Earth, according to NASA. The last Super Moon was earlier this month on August 2.

Why blue? Because it’s the second full Moon in August and the third full moon this summer, a season that spans four full Moons, according to Space.com. So it’s blue by two definitions, one of which is monthly and refers to any second Full Moon in any given month. While the other definition is seasonal:

“The older definition of Blue Moon, dating back to at least the 1500s, is the name for the third full Moon in a season that has four Moons. By this definition, the full Moon in August 2024 will be the Blue Moon and this full Moon, as the last full Moon of summer, shares some of the seasonal names from my posting for the August 1 full Moon. Neither of these definitions has anything to do with the color of the Moon, so the Blue Moon will not actually look blue.”

The Super Blue Moon shines high above the California State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. The last super blue moon appeared on Jan. 31, 2018. According to NASA the next super blue moon won’t appear until January 31, 2037. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
The Super Blue Moon rises in the horizon as seen from the Alameda Theater in Alameda, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. The next rare super Blue Moon will appear in 2037. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 
The Super Blue Moon rises in the horizon as an AC Transit bus rides over the Fruitvale Bridge in Alameda, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. The next rare super Blue Moon will appear in 2037. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 
Part of the Fruitvale Bridge is silhouetted by the Super Blue Moon rising in the horizon seen from Alameda, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. The next rare super Blue Moon will appear in 2037. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 
The Super Blue Moon rises in the horizon as car rides over the Fruitvale Bridge in Alameda, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. The next rare super Blue Moon will appear in 2037. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 
The Super Blue Moon rises in the horizon as seen from the Alameda Theater in Alameda, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. The next rare super Blue Moon will appear in 2037. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 
A flock of pelicans fly past a waxing gibbous moon at 96% illumination as the evening sun sets to the west as seen from Fort Baker in Sausalito, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. There will be an upcoming super blue moon on Aug. 31. The last super blue moon appeared on Jan. 31, 2018. According to NASA the next super blue moon won’t appear until January 31, 2037. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

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