An enormous amount of smoke and ash from the forest fires in Canada has reached the Netherlands. As a result, the sun turned a deep red on Tuesday evening. And another special phenomenon awaits us in the sky: a blue supermoon.
The blue supermoon will probably show itself in the night from Wednesday to Thursday. “With a super moon, the full moon appears about seven percent larger and fourteen percent brighter than normal,” explains meteorologist Berend van Straaten of Weerplaza. “The fact that the moon sometimes appears larger and brighter than usual is because the distance between the moon and the earth is not always the same. Sometimes the moon is closer to the earth than other times. The reason for this is that the moon does not have a circular, but an elliptical (egg-shaped) orbit around the earth.”
The average distance between the Moon and Earth is 384,000 km. That is equivalent to 320 journeys by car from Utrecht to the south coast of France. In a supermoon, the moon is about 357,000 km away from us. That saves about 27,000 km, or 23 times a trip to Montpellier.
It’s called a blue moon this time, because Thursday will be the second full moon in one month. There was also a full moon on August 1. Because it is also a supermoon, we are dealing with a blue supermoon.
Next blue supermoon not until 2037
Two full moons in one month are therefore rare, which is why the second is also called a blue moon. Hence the English expression ‘once in a blue moon’. The last time two full supermoons appeared in the same month was in 2018. Astronomers say the next time this will happen isn’t until 2037.
And there’s something else going on. On Wednesday night, the planet Saturn will also be just above the moon. “It didn’t happen in 2009, and it won’t happen in 2037,” says David Moore of the Irish Astronomy Society, who speaks of a “celestial delight.” the neighborhood has, probably once in a lifetime or more rarely.”
To be able to see this supermoon properly, clouds should of course not throw a spanner in the works and it is a smart idea not to look too late in the night.
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