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‘Real Blue Moon’ To Be Joined By Jupiter And Saturn This Week

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on : 16 Aug 2021 19:01
'Real Blue Moon' To Be Joined By Jupiter And Saturn This Week Kym MacKinnon/Mark De Jong/Unsplash

This week, Earth will reach the closest point it can to another planet, as it goes directly in between the Sun and Jupiter.

Jupiter will reach opposition this week – the point at which the Earth finds itself directly in between the Sun and another planet. The event places it 180 degrees away from the Sun and so directly opposite in the sky.

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Meanwhile, a ‘real’ Blue Moon is set to occur, which sees four full Moons occur in the same three-month season.

On August 20, Jupiter will find itself in opposition between the Sun and Earth – something which happens around every 13 months, as Earth laps Jupiter.

Earlier in the month, on August 3, Saturn was at opposition. Earth laps Saturn roughly every 12.5 months as the planet is further from the Sun and travels more slowly in its orbit than Jupiter.

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However, what makes this event unique this year is that both Saturn and Jupiter’s oppositions will take place in the same month. The planets just so happen to be in the same part of the sky, having first come together in December last year.

On August 22, the view looking south at 1.00 BST will show the two bright planets joined by the ‘blue’ full moon.

This summer, there were also full moons on June 24 and July 24. The next two full moons will be on August 22 and September 21.

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While the meeting of the planets and moon will be viewed from looking south at 1.00 BST, the meeting of the planets will take place high in the north-north-west from Sydney, Australia.

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Topics: News, Earth, Jupiter, Moon, Saturn, sun

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The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Starwatch Starwatch: Look out for Jupiter opposite the Sun and a blue moon