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Heads up, skygazers: Two supermoons will appear in the sky this August

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Aug 01, 2023 2:31 pm

Looking for a rare sight this August? Then you may want to keep an eye out for the sky as you'll be able to have a golden opportunity of witnessing not one, but two supermoons this month.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Aug. 2 and Aug. 31 will both have a supermoon lighting up the night sky.

This is considered a remarkable event as it is incredibly rare to have two super-sized moons appearing in one month. The last time there were two supermoons in one month was back in January 2018, and it won't happen again until January 31, 2037, according to NASA.

"A perigee full moon, commonly known as the supermoon, is an astronomical phenomenon occurring when the closest approach of the moon to the Earth, referred to as perigee, coincides with a full moon," PAGASA explained.

"When two full moons close to perigee occur on the same calendar month, the second full moon is called a super blue moon. The 'once in a blue moon' idiomatic expression is associated with 'not very often' or 'very rarely' since this phenomenon only happens every 2.8 years," they added.

For this month, the first supermoon will appear at 1:52 p.m. of Aug. 2 at a distance of 357,417.847 kilometers away from Earth while the second one will be at a closer distance of 357,289 kilometers from Earth and will be visible at 11:54 p.m. of Aug. 31.

When this happens, PAGASA stated that the moon will appear "slightly brighter and larger than the usual full moon."

Aside from this, two meteor showers will be active this August. The first one, called Perseids, will have its peak activity on Aug. 13 around midnight until just before sunrise and will produce up to 150 meteors per hour.

The second one, called κ-Cygnids, will have its peak activity on Aug. 18 and will produce at least three meteors per hour. It is already observable after sunset until it sets on the horizon at around 5:00 am, but it is best observed around 9:00 pm.