A rare “super blue Moon”, that won’t be seen again for more than a decade, put on a once-in-a-decade cosmic show in different regions across the world on Wednesday night.
Scientists described it as a “super blue Moon”. Supermoons occur when the Moon passes through its perigee or the point that takes it closest to Earth during its elliptical orbit. This makes it look about 14 per cent bigger compared to when it is at its furthest point, and a touch brighter.
Despite the description, it wasn’t actually blue: the term “blue Moon” simply refers to when we see a full moon twice in a month. This happens because lunar cycles are a bit shorter at 29.5 days than calendar months, which last 30 or 31 days, so it’s possible for one to happen at the start of a month and the other right at the end.
The previous super blue Moon occurred in December 2009, with the next set to come in quick succession: January and March of 2037.
Header image: A super blue moon rises behind a ferris wheel located at Stokes Hill Wharf in the Northern Territory capital city of Darwin on August 31, 2023. — AFP