NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee stargazers have a chance Wednesday night to see the “biggest and brightest moon” this year.
This week’s supermoon will be the closest full moon of the year, just 222,043 miles or so away from the Earth.
Best time to see blue supermoon in Tennessee
According to InTheSky.org, the supermoon will rise at 6:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Aug. 30, and set at 5:46 a.m. CT on Thursday, Aug. 31. Tennesseans looking to catch the moon at its peak will need to look to the skies at 8:35 p.m. CDT.
The supermoon is the second full moon this month. August’s first full moon—the Sturgeon Moon—occurred back at the beginning of the month. The Sturgeon Moon’s name comes from the abundance of this prehistoric-looking fish in the Great Lakes in August hundreds of years ago, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Why is it called a ‘blue’ moon?
According to NASA, a “blue moon” occurs when a full moon is seen twice in a single month—and no the moon itself isn’t blue, though on very rare occasions, certain particles in the air can cause it to appear blue. The two full moon months come from the moon’s 29.5-day cycle lining up just right. It’s why you typically see the two full months falling at the very beginning and end of the month—it also means it could never happen in the month of February, given that there are never more than 29 days in that month.
Long wait for next blue supermoon
If you miss the blue supermoon on Wednesday night, we have some bad news for you…the next one is more than a decade away. There won’t be another blue supermoon until 2037, according to Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi, founder of the Virtual Telescope Project.
So keep your eyes on the sky!
As a bonus, Saturn will be visible as a bright point 5 degrees to the upper right of the moon at sunset in the east-southeastern sky, according to NASA. The ringed planet will appear to circle clockwise around the moon as the night wears on.
Next month’s full moon won’t be so “super” but the Harvest Moon has its own unique history itself.