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The Month of August Will Offer Skywatchers the Rare Sight of TWO FULL MOONS

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penumbral lunar eclipse
The lunar eclipse will be visible from SA this Friday. PHOTOS: Carol Malley

Skywatchers in South Africa will be treated to a rare treat in August 2023: two full moons. The first full moon of the month, on August 1, will be called the Sturgeon Moon. The second full moon, on August 30, will be a blue moon.

SKYWATCHERS WILL SEE THE FOLLOWING FULL MOONS IN AUGUST:

The Sturgeon Full Moon

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The Sturgeon Moon is named after the large sturgeon fish that are harvested in the Great Lakes during this time of year. Sturgeon are an important part of the Great Lakes ecosystem, and they are known for their size and strength. The Sturgeon Moon is also sometimes called the Full Red Moon, as the harvest moon often appears reddish in color. This is due to the way that sunlight interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere at this time of year.

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The Blue Full Moon

The blue moon is a rare occurrence, as it happens when there are two full moons in the same month. The term “blue moon” is actually a misnomer, as the moon does not actually turn blue. It is simply the second full moon in a month.

The August blue moon will be a supermoon, which means that it will be closer to Earth than usual. This will make it appear larger and brighter than a regular full moon. The August blue moon will be the closest supermoon of the year.

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Skywatchers to be treated to two full moons in August
Skywatchers to be treated to two full moons in August Photo: Stock/Canva

WHEN WILL YOU BE ABLE TO SEE THE TWO FULL MOONS IN SOUTH AFRICA?

The Sturgeon Moon will reach its peak in South Africa at 8:31 PM SAST on August 1. The blue moon will reach its peak in South Africa at 3:35 PM SAST on August 30. Both moons will be visible to the naked eye.

WHERE TO SEE THE FULL MOONS IN SOUTH AFRICA:

The best place to see the full moons is in a dark sky location. This will allow you to see the moons in all their glory. If you live in a city, you may still be able to see the moons, but they will not appear as bright.

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WHY ARE THE TWO MOONS NAMED THE WAY THEY ARE?

The names of the full moons have been around for centuries. They were originally given by Native American tribes, who used the moons to track the seasons. The names reflect the natural world and the activities that were taking place at that time of year.

The Sturgeon Moon is named after the sturgeon fish, which were once abundant in the Great Lakes. The Blue Moon is named after the way that the moon appears in the sky. When the moon is full, it reflects all of the colors of the spectrum. However, when the moon is close to Earth, it appears to be a deeper blue color.

August 2023 is a great month to get out and stargaze in South Africa. With two full moons to enjoy, there will be plenty of opportunities to see the beauty of the night sky. So make sure to mark your calendars and head outside to catch a glimpse of these amazing celestial events.

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