Rare blue supermoon looks spectacular as it is bigger and brighter than usual

A rare super blue moon has been dazzling stargazers this evening during an event that will only happen once this year.

The blue moon is funnily enough not named after the colour blue and instead refers to the second full moon in one calendar month.

The second full moon in a month is quite a rare event, occurring approximately once every two or three years.

The moon appears larger than usual, and rose at around 8pm (BST) this evening, with it setting at around 6am (BST) tomorrow.

For stargrazers the peak of the full moon will be lit up by the sun at 2.35am (BST) on Friday morning.

But those who can’t stay up shouldn’t worry as experts say it won’t actually look that much different.

The best time to catch a glimpse is when the local conditions are best suited to a clear sky – low cloud cover, favourable weather, and no obstructions on the horizon – such as buildings or trees.

Astronomer Professor Don Pollacco from the University of Warwick said: ‘One of the flukes of nature is that the apparent size of the moon can be very similar to that of the sun.

‘This occurs because, while the moon is much smaller than the sun, it is much closer to the Earth.’

He continued: ‘Now that we understand the Moon’s orbit around the Earth we can talk about super moons.

‘These occur when there is a full moon at the time when the moon is closest to the Earth.

‘Consequently, the moon can look bigger (10-15%) and brighter (25-30%) than a normal full moon.’

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