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The month of August brings a lunar extravaganza with some of the biggest celestial events of 2023

In the month of August, we are in for a spectacular display of celestial events, some of the grandest of 2023. The initial week of this month treated us to meteor showers and a stunningly luminous moon. And now, the pinnacle of this lunar extravaganza is set to unfold on Wednesday, August 30th, coinciding with the festival of Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi Poornima. At precisely 9:36 pm ET or 7:06 am IST, a Super Blue Moon will grace our skies. Despite its name, this moon won’t exhibit a blue hue. The appellation originates from Sky & Telescope magazine, which designates the second full moon within a single calendar month as a Blue Moon, as reported by NASA.

This momentous lunar event will span three days, embracing its peak on Wednesday. According to NASA, the period of full illumination will encompass Tuesday (August 29) until Friday night (September 01).

Adding to the celestial spectacle, the Super Blue Moon on Wednesday will share the stage with Saturn. This gas giant, adorned with its iconic rings, will have recently crossed the point of opposition—when it stands directly across from the sun in relation to Earth—a rare occurrence that enhances its significance.

As explained by NASA, Blue Moons transpire approximately every two and a half years. Yet, it is worth noting that reports suggest the subsequent Blue Moon is anticipated to grace our skies in 2024, with the previous seasonal Blue Moon having adorned the heavens in 2021.

While the peak lunar cycle is anticipated, NASA doesn’t project any major meteor showers. However, they predict the occurrence of three minor showers, offering a mere six or fewer visible meteors per hour under optimal conditions.

On the evening of August 30th, the twilight will wane at 8:43 EDT or 6:12 am IST. At that juncture, the moon will ascend, positioned 8 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon, accompanied by Saturn situated 5 degrees to its upright.

For those keen on observing the Blue Moon in diverse regions:

On August 30th: In London, the sun will set at 7:54 pm BST, promptly followed by the moonrise at 8:08 pm BST. Meanwhile, in New York, sunset is slated for 7:33 pm EDT, with moonrise to follow at 7:45 pm EDT. Lastly, in Los Angeles, the sun will bid adieu at 7:23 pm PDT, with the moon’s arrival scheduled for 7:36 pm PDT.
On August 31st: London’s sunset is anticipated at 7:52 pm BST, preceding the moonrise at 8:24 pm BST. The full moon will reach its zenith at 1:37 am BST.


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