Rare Super Blue Moon Will Light Up El Paso Night Sky This Week
A rare lunar phenomenon that only occurs once in a blue moon is happening this week.
There is going to be a blue supermoon in the night sky, and good news local lovers of the night sky, you should be able to get a good look at it in El Paso and Southern New Mexico.
We could really use some rain, but let’s hope the forecast for clear skies holds out because the next blue supermoon won’t happen again for another 14 years.
What’s a Supermoon?
A Supermoon is when we have a full moon at the moon’s closest orbital point, making the full moon appear up to 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than a regular full moon.
Typically, there are three or four a year. This next one will be the third of four supermoons in 2023
What’s a Blue Moon?
A Blue Moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. According to NASA, there are two types of blue moons: monthly and seasonal. This upcoming moon is a monthly blue moon.
Since there are roughly 29.5 days between full moons, a full moon that happens on the 1st or 2nd of a month will probably be followed by a second full moon on the 30th or 31st.
Such was the case for August. The first full moon this month rose on Aug. 1. As a result, there will be a second full moon August 30.
However, it’s not going to actually be blue. It will be its normal yellow-white self. So why is it referred to as a blue moon?
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, "blue moon" comes from the 16th-century expression "the Moon is blue," meaning something that is impossible. Of course, we know now it’s more of an unusual rather than an impossible or rare phenomenon.
How Rare Is a Blue Supermoon?
So, individually supermoons and blue moons happen fairly regularly. Super blue moons, however, not so much. The time between super blue moons is quite irregular, according to NASA.
The next one won’t happen until 2037, when two will appear — in January and March 2037.
When Can I See the Super Blue Moon in El Paso?
People in the El Paso/Las Cruces area will be able to see the super blue moon on Wednesday, August 30. The moon will rise at 7:35 p.m.
The viewing conditions should be pretty good, as the weather forecast for that night is mostly clear, according to the National Weather Service El Paso