August 2023 supermoons; night sky to shine bright twice

The first day of August begins with the first of two full supermoons this month.

The first full Supermoon on Aug. 1, 2023 is called the Sturgeon Moon. Its name is derived from the large number of Sturgeon Fish in The Great Lakes this time of year. 

Since it is a supermoon, it will appear bigger and brighter than the average moon since it is closer to Earth. While you may not notice the size different easily, you should be able to see the enhanced brightness. Skies look to be mostly clear providing perfect viewing conditions on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

The second full supermoon of the month will be visible on Aug. 30, 2023. This moon will be even closer to the Earth. The second full moon in a calendar month is called a monthly Blue Moon. No, the moon isn't going to turn blue. 

There are two theories as to why it is called a blue moon. One goes back to when volcanic ash or smoke turned the moon blue. The other is from a folklorist, Philip Hiscock, who suggested calling for a blue moon once meant that something was absurd and would never happen. 

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The last time there was two full supermoons in a month was back in 2018. 

We are not expected to see this occur again until 2037.