Skip to content

A Blue Supermoon!

On August 30, 2023, the Moon will be both a blue moon and a supermoon. This won’t happen again for many years.

A huge full moon with an orange tint in the night sky behind pine trees.

pjsells—iStock/Getty Images Plus

This photo of a supermoon was taken at Yosemite National Park in California.

Something unusual is happening in the sky on August 30. That night, the Moon will be both a blue moon and a supermoon. 

You may already know that the Moon doesn’t always look the same to us. Sometimes we see only part of it. That’s because of the different ways light and shadow hit the Moon as it orbits Earth. When we can see the entire Moon, we call it a full moon. There’s a full moon about every 29.5 days. You can think of a blue moon and a supermoon as unusual forms of a full moon.

A blue moon isn’t blue at all. It’s the name given to the second full moon in a rare month when there are two full moons. This happens only every two or three years.

A supermoon is when the moon is at the point in its orbit that is closest to Earth at the same time it is full. This causes the Moon to look a bit larger and brighter in the sky. Supermoons happen three or four times a year.

It’s not every day that there’s a supermoon. And it’s not every day that there’s a blue moon either. A moon that’s both at the same time is called a super blue moon.

And how often do super blue moons happen? The next two will be in 2037—one in January and another in March. But they’re usually much less common, sometimes happening as many as 20 years apart.

NEWS EXTRA!

Fire in Hawaii

Several people sort through food, water, and other emergency supplies outdoors under a shelter.

Yuki Iwamura—AFP/Getty Images

People are working hard to help those who lost their homes and businesses in a fire on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

The fire, which started on August 8, left people in need of food, shelter, and supplies. Many organizations are helping. For example, Chef Hui is bringing together chefs, farmers, and others who are willing to supply food and prepare meals. Americans from around the country have also sent supplies or money to Maui.

Celebrities have brought attention to the disaster as well. Actor Matthew McConaughey announced he would pay for a plane to fly supplies to Maui. Famed surfer Archie Kalepa and some volunteers are giving out supplies. And actor Auliʻi Cravalho, who is Native Hawaiian, created an Instagram post asking fans to make donations.

Fun Fact Icon

Fun Fact

Against a black backdrop, Earth says hey, where are you going to the Moon.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

The Moon is slowly moving away from Earth. It gets about 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) farther away every year.

Why Does the Moon Have So Many Craters?

A crater in a brown surface.

Chris Saulit—Moment/Getty Images

This crater was created when a meteorite crashed into Earth about 50,000 years ago. It won’t last forever!

The Moon’s surface has thousands of pits called craters because objects such as asteroids regularly crash into it. Earth also gets hit by these objects, but it doesn’t have as many craters as the Moon does. Why not?

When an object makes a crater in the surface of Earth, certain processes usually smooth the surface over time. For example, Earth has wind. But on the Moon, there is no wind. In fact, there’s no weather at all. There’s nothing to smooth out the craters, so every crater on the Moon is there for as long as the Moon exists. Some of the Moon’s craters may have been there for billions of years!

Our Moon

NASA Scientific Visualization Studio

Explore the Moon! Read all about it at Britannica School.

Word of the Day Icon

Word of the Day

lunar

Part of speech:

adjective

Definition:

 of or relating to the Moon

Definitions provided by
Merriam-Webster Logo
Game Icon

Play

Can you find all the words related to the Moon?

O
O
O
O
O

In Case You Missed It

Brazil’s National Museum has received a generous gift of more than 1,100 fossils.
June 6, 2024
A new book about life in ancient Egypt is based on a very old story.
June 2, 2024
A miniature poodle named Sage won top prize at the Westminster Dog Show.
May 30, 2024
The finalists for the 2024 Comedy Pet Photography Awards have been announced!
May 22, 2024