CLEVELAND (WJW) — August’s full moon, The Sturgeon Moon, is coming this weekend. But with it being the first full moon this month, why is it considered a blue moon?
A blue moon usually refers to a second full moon occurring in the same month, but a lesser known and older definition (dating back to 1528) of a blue moon applies to the third full moon in a season with four full moons, according to NASA.
Typically each season has three full moons, but Summer 2021 has four: June 24, July 23, Aug. 22 and Sept. 20.
Seasonal Blue Moons are uncommon, occurring about once every two to three years, according to EarthSky.
NASA says, this weekend’s moon will reach its fullest at 8:02 a.m. EDT on Sunday, but it will appear full for about three days, from Friday night through Monday morning, making it a “full moon weekend.”
You can find your local moonrise and moonset times by clicking here and searching for your city.
August’s full moon won’t actually look blue, however; unless smoke particles from this summer’s raging fires turn it orange-red, the moon will appear its usual ghostly white, according to Live Science.