Super Blue Moon: What You'll Really See This Wednesday Night


Super Blue Moon: What You'll Really See This Wednesday Night

SUPER MOON. This night from Wednesday August 30th to Thursday August 31st, look up to the sky to observe a rather rare phenomenon: a "super blue moon". What phenomenon is it? Is the moon really blue?

[Updated August 30, 2023 at 12:40 p.m.] If not on the night of this Wednesday evening to Thursday morning, it will be necessary to wait until the year 2037 to relive a similar event. This night, to the phenomenon of "blue moon", which has nothing to do with the color of the star, will be added that of "super moon", which means that the moon will be closest to the Earth , at a distance of 357,344 kilometers precisely.

A blue moon is not a blue colored moon, but means that in the same month two full moons appear. Indeed, this year 2023, a first full moon appeared on August 1, and a second, the full blue moon therefore, appears this Thursday, August 31. There is usually only one full moon in a month, with the lunar cycle lasting 28 days. Exceptionally, the year 2023 has 13 moons instead of 12. As a general rule, we see a single Blue Moon every 2.7 years. Except that this night of August 30 to 31, this blue moon phenomenon will be added to that of super Moon... An event which will not occur until January 2037. "About 25% of full Moons are super moons, but only 3% of full moons are blue moons,” says NASA. For astrologers, a blue moon signifies change or revolution.

The blue moon will be visible around the world at different times. "The moon is always full for everyone, but it moves. It takes 12 hours for it to move from one hemisphere to the other; that probably means it will rise early enough to have time to be full everywhere on the planet during the same day" had specified the president of the Corporation of astronomy of Val-Bélair, Jean David, to Radio Canada. Everywhere in the world it will be full at 01:35 GMT. In France, it will be exactly full from 3:37 a.m. (Paris time) and visible all night from Thursday August 31 until dawn.

The Full Blue Moon on August 31, 2023 will be observable from all parts of the globe, for all time zones. Which means that it will necessarily be visible in the sky of France, provided that the sky is generally clear.

Every two to three years, the year includes 13 full moons instead of 12. The super blue moon is therefore associated with the number 13. Beliefs from the Middle Ages associate these years with 13 full moons with natural disasters but gardeners evoke rather particularly rainy years not conducive to harvests.

In astronomy, this event is called "perigee-syzygia", the name of Super Moon having nothing scientific, since it is an invention of the astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. "A Super moon occurs when the full moon coincides with the point when the Moon comes closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit, a point called perigee," explains NASA's website. By Super Moon, we therefore mean a celestial phenomenon that is due to two elements: the only satellite of planet Earth passes closest to us when it is a full moon evening. While waiting for the next photos, here are the most beautiful Supermoon photos taken in France, the United States, China or even Russia:

The Super Moon is only really observable after sunset, with the naked eye, using binoculars or telescopes. In order to observe a Super Moon in optimal conditions, you must equip yourself with astronomical glasses or a telescope, far from atmospheric pollution, or go to one of the clubs of the French Astronomical Association (AFA). See the map.

A Supermoon appears slightly brighter and larger than a full moon, simply because it appears at perigee, at its closest point in orbit to the Earth, at a distance of less than 360,000 km.

Due to the Full Moon's proximity to our planet Earth, its effects have an even stronger impact on tides, mood, and sleep. Indeed, as explained in a 2013 Swiss scientific study published in the journal Current Biology, "a lunar rhythm can modulate sleep patterns in humans." This means that the time to fall asleep is extended by 5 minutes, deep sleep decreased by 30% and sleep duration by 20 minutes. Consequently, the level of melatonin, a hormone secreted during our sleep, which has a role to play in mood, is lower, which can cause irritability or even depression.