WEST MICHIGAN — This year, there will be a total of 13 full moons. While a full moon can light up the night sky, there are certain times when the moon is brighter, these are called supermoons. A supermoon is defined by the distance between the moon and earth. Overall there will be four supermoons in 2023. Excitingly enough, the brightest of all will be the 'once in a blue moon' supermoon.
According to NASA, a supermoon occurs when the Moon’s orbit is closest to Earth at the same time the Moon is full. NASA says, "When a full moon appears at perigee it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon – and that's where we get a 'supermoon.'"
This year we can expect four supermoons. Three of which will occur in the summer. The last supermoon of 2023 will be at the beginning of fall.
The first supermoon is expected to light up the sky with some fireworks, on July 3.
The second supermoon will occur in August on the first day of the month. The third supermoon of the year will occur in August and will be extra special. It's considered a 'blue moon.'
When two full moons happen within the same calendar month, it is referred to as a blue moon. The blue moon is expected to occur August 30. This super / blue moon will be the biggest and brightest full moon this year.
The last supermoon of the season will be the Harvest Moon on September 29.
Another exciting fact about this year is that instead of having the usual 12 full moons, we'll have 13 due to the blue moon. Blue moons happen once every two to three years. The last blue moon was August 22, 2021.
January’s Full Moon
January's full moon occurred on January 6. The January moon is also known as the wolf moon.
February’s Full Moon
February's full moon is called the snow moon. We anticipate it to take place on February 5.
March’s Full Moon
On March 1, Meteorological spring begins and astronomical spring starts March 20. The full moon for March will take place on the 7. The full moon is named after the first full moon of the spring season, so it is known as the worm moon.
April’s Full Moon
April's full moon is called the pink moon. The moon won't turn pink or have a pink hue, it's just named after the wildflowers that grow mid-spring. The full moon will occur on April 6.
May’s Full Moon
The flower moon will be in full bloom on May 5.
June’s Full Moon
In June we'll see the strawberry moon. The moon is named after how when summer begins the strawberries ripen. The strawberry moon will occur on June 3.
July’s Full Moon — First Supermoon of 2023
July's full moon is the first supermoon of the year! July 3 will feature brighter overnight skies. The July full moon is known as the buck moon.
August’s First Full Moon, Second Supermoon of 2023
August is a busy season for the lunar calendar. The second supermoon of the year occurs on August 1. The August full moon is known as the Sturgeion moon. We are familiar with sturgeons here in West Michigan.
August’s Second Full Moon, Third Supermoon of 2023 and a special “Blue Moon”
The second August supermoon will be the biggest and brightest. It will occur on August 30, and due to it being the second full supermoon, it is considered a Blue moon.
September’s Full Moon, Fourth and Final Supermoon of 2023
Meteorological autumn begins September 1 and astronomical autumn begins on the 20. The full moon of September, the harvest moon, will happen September 29. This full moon will also be the last supermoon of the year.
October’s Full Moon
The October full moon, known as the hunter's moon, will come at the end of the month on the 28. The moon is named after the beginning of hunting season.
November’s Full Moon
Autumn's last full moon will clock in as November's beaver moon. The full moon will occur on November 27, right after Thanksgiving.
December’s Full Moon
The last full moon of the year will be perfect to illuminate the sky for Santa's ride back to the North Pole. The cold moon occurs on December 26.