The astronomical calendar has restarted, and it will give us the most beautiful views of the celestial vault.
The supermoons of 2023 will parade along the ecliptic; this is an astronomical phenomenon that coincides with the perigee of the Moon and is characterized by showing us a natural satellite at its closest point to Earth. Throughout the year, there will not only be full supermoons, but we will also have new supermoons that, although they are not visible, also mark important aspects in the sky. Find out when to admire the supermoons of 2023, so you can reconnect with the cosmic nature of the Universe.
What Is a Supermoon?
The Moon’s orbit is not perfect; it does not have a simple circumference and has a much more complex shape that is described as an ellipsoid. For this reason, it is not always at the same distance from us. On average, it is about 384,472 kilometers from the Earth, but there are times when it gets farther away or closer.
The most distant point of the Moon’s ellipsoid trajectory is called apogee, which is when it is 405,500 kilometers away. On the other hand, the closest point is called perigee, a much shorter distance of 363,300 kilometers.
When the full moon coincides with the perigee, it is said that there is a full supermoon, so this astronomical phenomenon refers to a full moon when it is as close to the planet as possible.
The year 2023 is beginning, which means that astronomical phenomena restart and give us the most beautiful views of the celestial vault. Showers of stars, planetary conjunctions, and of course, full moons, will make your spectacular views resound loudly.
During the year, we will have a series of super full moons, and one of them will even be a blue supermoon. These are the dates of the 2023 full supermoons with their distances to Earth, compare them with the average distance, which is 384 thousand 472 kilometers.
- July 3: 361 thousand 934 kilometers
- August 1: 357 thousand 530 kilometers
- August 31: 357 thousand 344 kilometers (Blue Full Supermoon)
- September 29: 361,552 kilometers (361,552 miles)
Blue full moons are very rare since they occur when two full moons occur in the same month; the second full moon is called Blue Moon. August 2023 will not only have a full supermoon, but it will be a Blue Full Supermoon.
Although full supermoons are more striking, there are also super new moons that occur when the satellite reaches its perigee just when it is going through the new Moon. These are not visible, and that is the reason why they are not given so much importance, but in 2023 a rare phenomenon has occurred where 3 consecutive super new moons will occur:
- January 21: 356 thousand 571 kilometers.
- February 20: 359 thousand 065 kilometers
- March 21: 366 thousand161 kilometers
Is it True That Supermoons Look Bigger?
The term ‘supermoon’ was first coined in 1979 by NASA astrobiologist Richard Nolle. Who stipulated that to be considered this way, the Moon must be at least within 90% of perigee, so it is a common belief that, during this time, the Moon will look much larger in the sky.
But although in terms of numbers, it is much closer, some 42,200 kilometers closer to Earth than at apogee, from a terrestrial perspective the change is not very noticeable according to NASA; although it is still a beautiful phenomenon to admire during the nights of 2023.
Story originally published in Spanish in EcoosferaPodría interesarte