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Super Blue Moon 2023

Experience the Spectacle of the Smoky Mountains Super Blue Moon on Aug. 30, 2023

The Smoky Mountains will be graced by a series of spectacular celestial events in 2023. The Buck Moon occurred in July, followed by the Sturgeon Moon in early August, and now we anticipate an occurrence that will stand out from the rest – the Smoky Mountains Super Blue Moon. On August 30, 2023, a full moon, a supermoon, and a blue moon will combine to illuminate the night sky. The celestial spectacle, scheduled to peak at 9:35 p.m. EDT, will showcase our universe’s amazing beauty.

The Harvest Moon event in September is set to be a grand finale, so let’s discuss the upcoming super blue moon.

Exploring the Smoky Mountains Super Blue Moon

What Is a Supermoon?

Supermoons occur when the Moon appears larger and brighter in the sky, about 14% larger than when it is at its farthest point from Earth. Because of the Moon’s elliptical orbit, when it completes an eclipse pattern, it comes close to Earth and far away from it.

Moon’s orbit around Earth has two critical points:

  1. Apogee: Earth’s farthest point, situated over 250,000 miles away.
  2. Perigee: Earth’s closest point, around 225,000 miles away.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon aligns with the perigee, resulting in a moon appearance that is significantly larger and brighter than a normal full moon. The difference between a nickel and a quarter can be visualized by comparing their sizes. The term “supermoon” was coined by astronomers in 1979 to underline the wonders of the cosmos during such extraordinary events.

Understanding a Super Blue Moon

Super Blue Moons combine two lunar phenomena – a Blue Moon and a Supermoon – in the realm of astronomy. Generally, a Blue Moon occurs when there is a second full moon within a calendar month, or when there is a third full moon within a season.

The term “blue moon” has little to do with the color of the moon; most Blue Moons appear similar to other full moons. Specific atmospheric conditions, however, such as volcanic eruptions, can give the moon a bluish tint.

Supermoons, on the other hand, occur when the moon reaches its closest point to Earth (perigee) along its elliptical orbit, which increases its brightness and size. As a result of the convergence of these two events, a Super Blue Moon occurs, a relatively rare occurrence.

There has been a significant amount of popular culture around Blue Moons through films, music, and even ice cream flavors, but the allure of a Super Blue Moon in the astronomical community lies in its unique combination of grandeur and the presence of an additional full moon within a specific timeframe.

Frequency of Supermoons

A standard calendar month lasts approximately 28 days, slightly shorter than the moon’s orbit around Earth. As a result of this variance, two full moons can occur in a single month, with the second being referred to as a “blue moon.”

Based on astronomical patterns, blue moons occur once every 33 months, indicating:

  • Every 19 years, there are roughly 7 blue moons
  • Within a century, there have been 41 blue moons
  • The occurrence of two blue moons in a calendar year is rare, occurring around four times per century.

The Next Blue Moon is Almost Here

Blue moon dates can be calculated in two ways. Seasonal blue moons will occur on August 19, 2024, May 20, 2027, August 24, 2029, August 21, 2032, and May 22, 2035.

Experience the Extraordinary Super Blue Moon in the Smoky Mountains

Super Blue Moon is just around the corner, so marvel at nature’s wonders. While expectations paint a picture of extraordinary glory, these celestial events are more beautiful in their subtlety. Sky watchers and curious novices alike will enjoy this fascinating event to learn about the cosmos. May the skies be clear and the moonlit magic be captivating!

Don’t miss this opportunity, as the next blue supermoon won’t appear for another nine years. Be sure to equip yourself with binoculars and cameras to enjoy this amazing celestial spectacle.

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