Once in a Blue Moon

The fabled blue moon is actually happening this week!

In recent weeks we’ve been treated to a meteor shower and a sighting of Saturn, delighting star gazers and astronomy enthusiasts, but there’s another celestial event happening very soon.

On August 31st if you turn your eyes towards the sky you’ll have a rare sight of a genuine blue moon. Like the popular saying, this event is extremely rare, and happens usually only once every 10-20 years, and frames a moment where the moon is at its closest point to the Earth.

Unlike super Moons which occur around three or four times per year, NASA says that “about 25% of all full Moons are super Moons, but only 3% of full Moons are blue Moons.” Does this mean that it will actually be blue? Unfortunately not! The name is a reference to the fact that two full Moons are sighted within 29 and a half days inside the same calendar month. In the UAE residents will get the bonus of it being a super Blue Moon which is even rarer.

Blue Moons can be as far apart as 20 years, so it’s worth checking this one out. NASA predicts that the next super Blue Moon will be in a pair in January and February in 2037. To watch it you’ll need to leave the brightness of the city and head to Al Mushrif Park where the Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre is hosting observatory sessions, costing AED 60 for adults and AED 40 for children under 13

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