The biggest and brightest full moon of 2023 will rise in the sky on Wednesday, August 30. Although it is called a “blue supermoon”, the moon will not be blue but orange.

There are two types of blue moon. August’s blue supermoon it belongs to the first category (“calendar blue moon”), where we have two full moons in the same month. This happens about every two or three years as a new full moon rises every 29.5 days.

The next blue moon will be seen on May 31, 2026.

The second type of blue moon, called a “seasonal blue moon,” describes the third of four full moons during an astronomical period. This happens when a calendar year has 13 full moons instead of 12. The next seasonal blue moon, which also happens every two or three years, will rise on August 19, 2024.

The term “super full moon” occurs when the Moon is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth. The moon’s orbit around the Earth is elliptical, so each month it gets closer (perigee) and farther (apogee). A moon that is at perigee, or within 90% of perigee in a given month, is called a supermoon, according to Fred Espenak, an astronomer and former NASA eclipse computer.

August’s second full moon is the third and closest of the four super full moons of 2023. At a distance of 357,344 kilometers from Earth, it will be the largest and brightest super full moon of 2023.

The next full moon, the “Harvest Moon” as it is known, will rise on September 29. In addition to being one of the most famous full moons of the year, it is also the last super full moon of 2023.