Double supermoon: How to see rare lunar event in US

Sky gazers will see a much brighter and larger moon than normal this month

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People in the US this month will be treated with a stunning interstellar display of two supermoons.

The first will appear on Tuesday night. Gazers can catch the moon looking bigger and brighter than normal. That's because it will be only 357,350km away from Earth.

“Warm summer nights are the ideal time to watch the full moon rise in the eastern sky within minutes of sunset. And it happens twice in August,” said retired Nasa astrophysicist Fred Espenak.

Tuesday's supermoon is also known as a sturgeon moon. Its name derives from Native American tribes because the giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were mostly caught during this time of the year.

The sturgeon supermoon will reach peak illumination at 2.32pm ET. Viewers in the US are advised to look towards the south-east after sunset to see a glimpse of the sturgeon moon rising, according to the Farmer's Alamanac.

Those in the US can also find ideal viewing times by inputting their zip codes into a Farmer's Almanac web page.

Supermoons are also known as a perigean full moon, a moon that is full and at its closest point to Earth. A supermoon's disk size is roughly 8 per cent larger than an average-sized moon, and it is roughly 16 per cent brighter.

A second full moon is due at the end of August. It will also bring a rare blue moon.

“Blue moon” is most often used when there are two full moons in a single month, the Farmer's Almanac said. It will peak at 9.36pm ET on August 30.

A full supermoon won't appear again until November 5, 2025.

AP contributed to this report

Updated: August 02, 2023, 4:34 AM