Super Blue Moon 2023 in India
The Raksha Bandhan full moon—Rakhi is celebrated on the Purnima of the month of Shravan—on August 30-31 will be unusual: it will be both a “blue moon” and a “super moon” and therefore, a “Super Blue Moon”, a rare trifecta of astronomical events.
This special moon will rise at 6.35 p.m. in Delhi on August 30, a little later in Mumbai, and about an hour earlier in Kolkata.
A super moon is what?
The moon’s orbit around the earth is elliptical, or an extended or stretched-out circle, rather than circular. The moon orbits the earth in 27.3 days.
(However, there are 29.5 days between new moons. This is due to the fact that, while the moon is orbiting the earth, the sun is simultaneously moving around it. As a result, it takes longer for the sun to illuminate the moon in the same way that it does at the start of each round of the earth. The new moon, which is the opposite of the full moon and occurs when the moon’s lit side is directed away from the earth, is the darkest time during its invisible phase.
Perigee and apogee are the terms used to describe the points in the moon’s elliptical orbit that are closest to and most distant from Earth, respectively. When the moon is both full and at or near its perigee, it is said to be a “super moon.” (A new moon also experiences this; it is just not visible.)
When the moon is fully illuminated on its day side and is perpendicular to the sun (as seen from Earth), this is known as a full moon. Around sunset and sunrise, the full moon rises and sets as a dazzling circle in the sky. Not just on Purnima, but also the night before and the night after the full moon, the moon appears to be “full.”
What exactly is a blue moon?
While the phrase “once in a blue moon” suggests an uncommon or rare occurrence, a blue moon is not a particularly uncommon astronomical phenomenon. There are a few different ways to define a blue moon, but the one that is most often accepted and is supported by NASA describes the circumstance when a full moon is viewed twice in a single month.
A period comes when the full moon appears at the start of a month and there are still days for another full cycle to be completed because the new moon to new moon cycle lasts 29.5 days. A second full moon will occur on the 30th or 31st of a month like this, in which the full moon is visible on the first or second. NASA claims that this occurs every two to three years.
August 1 saw the first full moon of August 2023. However, because the moon is now closer to the perigee, the supermoon on August 30 and 31 will be larger.
Will the moon actually seem blue then?
No. The moon may occasionally appear more blue than usual due to smoke or dust in the atmosphere scattering red light wavelengths. But the term “blue” moon has nothing to do with this.