A rare super blue moon will shine in the sky tonight as August wraps up.
The month already featured a supermoon as it began, but the second full supermoon of the month — which will today — will also be a blue moon. A blue moon is not actually blue in color; the term signifies a second full moon within a single month.
August's first full moon rose on Aug. 1 and was the second of four consecutive supermoons. On average, supermoons are about 16% brighter than an average moon. They also appear bigger than the average full moon. According to NASA, it's similar to the size difference between a quarter and a nickel. The phenomenon occurs when the moon's orbit is closest to Earth at the same time the moon is full.
Today's supermoon will appear to be even closer than the full moon at the beginning of the month. The last of the four consecutive supermoons this year will be the Sept. 28 "Harvest Moon."
Those who miss out on the blue moon will have quite a wait before the next one. While around 25% of full moons are supermoons, just 3% of full moons are blue moons, according to NASA. The next blue moon after today's will be in May 2026.
This Wednesday's super blue moon will reach its peak at 6:36 p.m. PDT. Those looking to the skies may also spot Saturn, which will be visible near the moon around 5:42 p.m. PDT and appear to swing clockwise around the moon as the evening progresses, according to NASA. Saturn should be visible just by looking up, but binoculars or a telescope will help viewers make out some of the planet's distinguishing features.
Listen to Carolyn and Cort from the Morning Breeze talk about it here: