August 2023 full moon: See the super blue moon rise around the world and Arizona

Super Blue Moon: The night sky on August 31st will offer skywatchers around the world a rare treat - a "super blue moon."

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The night sky on August 31st will offer skywatchers around the world a rare treat - a "super blue moon." When a supermoon and a blue moon coincide, we witness a unique phenomenon.

On August 30, 2023, hikers eagerly observe as the Super Blue Moon emerges from behind the clouds at Thunderbird Conservation Park in Glendale. Captured by Diannie Chavez for The Republic.

A supermoon happens when the moon is at the closest point to Earth in its orbit, making it appear slightly bigger and brighter than usual. A blue moon is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons.

On August 30, 2023, the Super Blue Moon casts its radiance from Thunderbird Conservation Park in Glendale. Captured by Diannie Chavez for The Republic
Witnessed on August 30, 2023, the Super Blue Moon graces the scene from Glendale's Thunderbird Conservation Park. Captured by Diannie Chavez for The Republic
On August 30, 2023, the Super Blue Moon graces the vista from Glendale's Thunderbird Conservation Park. Captured by Diannie Chavez of The Republic

Together, these two events will make for an impressive moon-viewing experience if skies are clear. NASA reports that supermoons appear about 7% bigger than an average full moon. While the difference is slight to the naked eye, when photographed side-by-side, the increased size is noticeable.

For the best view, look to the night sky on the evening of August 31st, when the full super blue moon will rise above the horizon. The best time to see it will be right after sunset, as the moon is rising. But the sight will be visible for several nights before and after the 31st.

On the night of August 30, 2023, the Blue Moon graces the skies over North Phoenix. Captured by Michael Meister for The Republic

Around the world, moon enthusiasts, astronomers and photographers will be pointing their lenses skyward to capture images of the brilliant blue-hued moon. And many public astronomy programs are hosting moon-watching events to allow the public to view the phenomenon through telescopes.

On August 30, 2023, a rare Super Blue Moon emerged from clouds over the ocean, illuminated by the orange hues of a post-hurricane sunset. The moon's brilliance marked the closest approach to Earth this year, while also being the second full moon of the month, earning it the title of a blue moon. Captured by Malcolm Denemark of Florida Today/USA TODAY NETWORK.
On August 30, 2023, spectators in the Incline District gaze in awe as the blue moon ascends over Cincinnati's skyline. Captured by Albert Cesare of The Enquirer/USA TODAY NETWORK

One of the best places in the United States to view the super blue moon will be in Arizona. The state's clear skies, dark skies initiatives, and excellent weather conditions in August make it a top location for optimal moon viewing.

On August 30, 2023, a Supermoon, adorned in blue, gracefully rises in the heavens behind Hartland, Wisconsin's St. Charles Catholic Church. Captured by John Hart of the Wisconsin State Journal via AP
On August 30, 2023, a stunning supermoon rises behind New York's Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open tennis championships. This rare blue supermoon, the year's closest full moon, captivated stargazers on Wednesday night. Being the second full moon of August, it earned the blue label, appearing unusually close to Earth, hence the supermoon title. Captured by Manu Fernandez of the Associated Press.
On August 30, 2023, a captivating Blue Supermoon graces the sky behind the Crescent City Connection in New Orleans. Captured by David Grunfeld of the Associated Press
On August 30, 2023, an uncommon blue supermoon ascends above Lake Michigan while onlookers gather at Chicago's 31st Street beach. Captured by Charles Rex Arbogast of the Associated Press
On August 30, 2023, the blue supermoon graces the sky above Buenos Aires' El Cilindro stadium before the all-Argentine Copa Libertadores match between Racing Club and Boca Juniors. Captured by Luis Robayo of AFP Via Getty Images.

The Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium at the University of Arizona in Tucson is hosting a free public moon-gazing event on the 31st. Visitors will be able to safely view the moon through telescopes at the planetarium and learn about the science behind supermoons and blue moons from the center's knowledgeable staff.

On August 30, 2023, the enchanting blue moon graces the skyline of Doha city. Captured by Karim Jaafar of AFP Via Getty Images
On August 30, 2023, a full blue moon rises behind Liverpool's Royal Liver Building and Liver Bird statues. This supermoon marks its closest approach to Earth in its orbit and holds special significance as the second full moon of August, commonly referred to as a "blue moon." Captured by Christopher Furlong of Getty Images.
On August 30, 2023, the "Blue Supermoon," the second full moon within a single calendar month, graces the sky, ascending behind Belgrade's iconic monument, "The Victor" ("Pobednik" in Serbian). Captured in a captivating photograph by Andrej Isakovic of AFP Via Getty Images

Other ideal places in Arizona to see the moon include the high-altitude wilderness areas with very little light pollution, such as Flagstaff, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon. For those wanting to photograph the supermoon, locations like Saguaro National Park offer perfect foregrounds of Arizona's iconic giant cacti.

On August 30, 2023, the August Super Blue Moon gracefully descends behind a spire of Milan, Italy's exquisite Duomo Gothic cathedral. As Wednesday night unfolds, the cosmic veil lifts to reveal the second full moon of the month, accounting for its "blue" distinction. This phenomenon is renowned as a supermoon due to its unusually close proximity to Earth, resulting in an extraordinary display of magnified size and luminosity. Captured through the lens of Luca Bruno for the Associated Press
On August 30, 2023, individuals enjoy the mesmerizing sight of the super blue moon while traveling aboard a Cloud Cable Car in Greenwich, London. On this night, the full moon graces the sky with an amplified size and heightened luminosity, owing to its slightly closer proximity to Earth. Captured through the lens of Yui Mok from the Associated Press, this celestial experience adds a touch of magic to the city's ambiance. Photo by Yui Mok/Associated Press
On August 30, 2023, the supermoon ascends elegantly behind the medieval Chlemoutsi castle in Kyllini, Peloponnese, Greece. As Wednesday night unfolded, the cosmic veil was drawn back to reveal the second full moon of the month, which is the origin of its "blue" classification. Captured by the lens of Petros Giannakouris from the Associated Press

The best way to catch the August 2023 super blue moon is to find an open area with an unobstructed view of the eastern sky just after sunset. Be prepared to be dazzled by the larger, brighter moon lit up in a bluish tint. The event also offers the opportunity to appreciate the moon’s influence on Earth, from powering tides to impacting animal behaviors.

On August 30, 2023, the August Super Blue Moon gracefully descended behind a historic edifice, casting its ethereal glow upon both the St. Basil's Cathedral (on the right) and the passersby strolling through Moscow's iconic Red Square, Russia. As Wednesday night unfolded, the celestial stage unveiled the second full moon of the month, attributing its azure hue to this rare occurrence. This phenomenon earns the moniker "supermoon" due to its proximity to Earth, resulting in a spectacular display of amplified size and brilliance. Captured in a captivating photograph by Alexander Zemlianichenko of the Associated Press.
On August 30, 2023, the supermoon cast its enchanting glow behind Greece's time-honored Temple of Poseidon, perched at Cape Sounion, just 45 miles south of Athens. As the cosmic veil lifted on Wednesday night, the second full moon of the month emerged, granting it the ethereal "blue" distinction. Referred to as a supermoon due to its proximity to Earth being nearer than usual, it graced the night sky with an exceptional luminosity and size. Captured in a captivating image by Thanassis Stavrakis of the Associated Press.
On August 30, 2023, the majestic August Super Blue Moon gracefully descends behind Toronto's iconic CN Tower. This celestial spectacle unfolds as Wednesday night unveils the second full moon of the month, an occurrence that bestows upon it the title of the "blue" moon. This supermoon moniker is earned due to its closer proximity to Earth than usual, resulting in a remarkable display of increased size and luminosity. Photo by Frank Gunn/Associated Press

While supermoons occur more frequently, the convergence of a blue moon and a supermoon won't happen again until 2037. So be sure to step outside on the 31st and look up to witness this rare lunar treat. The sight of our glowing celestial neighbor, bigger and brighter than usual, serves as a reminder of the wonders and mysteries of our solar system waiting to be revealed.

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