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San Tan Valley Gazes Up for the Spectacular Blue Moon Next Week


Mark your calendars, San Tan Valley residents! The only Blue Moon of 2023 is on the horizon, and it's set to light up the night sky in just one week.

The highly anticipated Blue Moon of August 2023 promises to be the grandest and most luminous moon of this year. Sky enthusiasts will not only witness a full moon but are in for an additional treat as this moon qualifies as a supermoon.

Scheduled to grace the sky on the evening of August 30th, those eager to catch a glimpse should turn their attention eastward shortly after sunset. Given its prominence as the brightest moon of the year, spotting it should pose no challenge. The Blue Moon's significance is twofold. As NASA explains, a Blue Moon is distinguished as the third full moon in a season of four full moons.

Earlier this month, on August 1, the Full Sturgeon Moon mesmerized viewers worldwide, resulting in an outpour of breathtaking astrophotography. August's Blue Moon further enthralls as it's also a supermoon. This signifies its alignment with the moon's perigee, the closest orbital point to Earth. For those on the lookout, it may appear marginally larger, around 7% bigger than the usual full moon, though the difference might be subtle to the naked eye.

But wait, there's more to this celestial event! Sharing the vast night canvas with the Blue Moon will be Saturn, the stunning ringed planet. Just a few days past its opposition, Saturn will radiate exceptionally bright, standing out against the vast night canvas. If you're in New York City, expect to spot Saturn in the Aquarius constellation, situated above and to the right of the moon. Conversely, observers from the Southern Hemisphere will find Saturn positioned below the moon.

Blue Moons, while special, are not as rare as the saying "once in a blue moon" might suggest. They typically grace our skies once every two to three years. Santan Valley residents might recall the last Blue Moon from August 2021, and the next appearance is already slated for August 2024.

Residents are encouraged to head outdoors, weather permitting, and soak in the beauty of the night sky. Whether you're an avid stargazer or simply curious, this Blue Moon event is one not to miss.
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Wednesday, 12 June 2024

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