13 full moons, including 4 supermoons and a blue moon, will shine in 2023

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Genesis 1:14
New King James Version
14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;

Sky watchers will get an extra treat in 2023, with 13 full moons on tap, including four big “supermoons” and one “blue moon.” There’s also a partial solar eclipse coming (Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023) in the new year, but that will have limited visibility in the eastern United States.

A more significant solar eclipse will occur in April 2024, and it has already been nicknamed the Great American Eclipse of 2024.

As for 2023, astronomy experts say four supermoons will be shining in the sky this year, and one month — August — will have two full moons, making the second one a “blue moon” (the second of two full moons during the same month). On average, a blue moon occurs every two to three years, because the lunar phases take 29.5 days to complete. So on occasion, two full moon cycles will occur during one 30- or 31-day month on the calendar.

What is a supermoon?
Supermoons are moons that become full when their orbits are closer than average to the Earth — making them appear to be slightly bigger and as much as 30% brighter than ordinary full moons, especially when they begin to rise.

Although the precise definition varies in the astronomy world — and some experts say the average star gazer won’t notice the size and brightness difference — many say a supermoon is a moon that tracks less than 223,000 miles from the Earth during its full phase. (Some say any full moon that is 226,000 miles or closer to the Earth can be classified as a supermoon, and others set the cutoff at the precise distance of 223,694 miles.)

And some, like prominent astronomer Fred Espenak, use a special formula to calculate the “relative distance” of the moon when it reaches its closest point of orbit. Based on the relative distance, two major astronomy websites — EarthSky.org and Astropixels — say there will be four supermoons in 2023.

Regardless of the exact definition, astronomy experts seem to agree that the closest full moon of the year will be the Aug. 30 “blue moon,” so many sky observers will likely be calling that a “super blue moon” or a “blue supermoon.”

Dates, times, nicknames of full moons in 2023
In case you want to do some sky watching or photo snapping, here’s a list of the dates and times of each full moon appearing in 2023, along with their most common nicknames. (Special thanks to the Farmers’ Almanac, the Old Farmer’s Almanac, TimeAndDate.com and EarthSky.org for the details.)

Note: Times listed below are for the Eastern time zone.

Jan. 6 at 6:08 p.m. — “wolf moon
Feb. 5 at 1:28 p.m. — “snow moon
March 7 at 7:40 a.m. — “worm moon
April 6 at 12:34 a.m. — “pink moon
May 5 at 1:34 p.m. — “flower moon
June 3 at 11:41 p.m. — “strawberry moon
July 3 at 7:38 a.m. — “buck moon” / “supermoon”
Aug. 1 at 2:31 p.m. — “sturgeon moon” / “supermoon”
Aug. 30 at 9:36 p.m. — “blue moon” / “supermoon”
Sept. 29 at 5:58 a.m. — “harvest moon” / “supermoon”
Oct. 28 at 4:24 p.m. — “hunter’s moon
Nov. 27 at 4:16 a.m. — “beaver moon
Dec. 26 at 7:33 p.m. — “cold moon


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