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Miss last night's super blue moon? See stunning pictures of the rare lunar show lighting up the August sky

Super blue moon makes rare appearance
Super blue moon makes rare appearance 00:37

As millions of stargazers around the world looked at the sky Wednesday night, they saw a full moon appearing larger than average. It was another "supermoon" — the second one in August 2023, making it a "blue moon."

What is a blue moon?

Unlike what the name suggests, a blue moon is not actually blue in color. Rather, it signifies the second full moon within a single month — hence the phrase, "once in a blue moon."  

What is a supermoon?

The "supermoon" phenomenon occurs when the moon's orbit is closest to Earth at the same time the moon is full. While around 25% of full moons are supermoons, just 3% of full moons are blue moons, according to NASA

On average, supermoons are about 16% brighter than an average moon. They also appear bigger than the average full moon — with NASA comparing the size difference to that between a quarter and a nickel. 

Saturn could also be seen appearing alongside the moon wherever skies were clear — adding to the celestial celebration.  

Here are some photos of the super blue moon from around the world.

New York, New York

The blue moon is seen rising over the Statue of Liberty in New York on Aug. 30, 2023. Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

San Francisco, California  

Super moon rises over Golden in San Francisco
A supermoon rises over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on Aug. 30, 2023. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Edinburgh, Scotland

Blue Moon
The super blue moon sets behind the Balmoral Clock in Edinburgh on Aug. 31, 2023. Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images

Kashmir, India

Rare Super Blue Moon Brightens August Night Sky
A bed of flowers beneath the radiant blue supermoon on Aug. 30, 2023 in Srinagar in Kashmir, India.  Kabli Yawar Nazir / Getty Images

Darwin, Australia 

The super blue moon rises behind a Ferris wheel located at Stokes Hill Wharf in Darwin, Australia, on Aug. 31, 2023. DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images

Istanbul, Turkey  

Super Blue Moon Visible Over Istanbul
Tourists visit Istanbul's famous Galata Tower as a rare super blue moon rises behind on Aug. 30, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. Chris McGrath / Getty Images

When will the next super blue moon be?

Those who missed seeing a blue moon will have to wait quite a while before the next one in May 2026. And if you're waiting for the next super blue moon, it'll be even longer — until 2037, when astronomy fans will get to see super blue moons in January and March. 

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