Full moon August 2023: Chicagoans turn eye to sky for blue super moon; Adler Planetarium open late

CHICAGO (WLS) — Many people, including Chicago’s astronomers and sky watchers, will be looking up for Wednesday night’s blue super moon.

Joe Guzman, known by some as Astro Joe, has more than a dozen telescopes, each with its own purpose. This evening, they will help him grab a glimpse of a rare blue super moon.

“We will catch the moon rise over the horizon over the lake. Always a dramatic and fascinating connective experience,” he said.

READ MORE: How to see this week’s super rare blue supermoon

But what exactly is a blue super moon? Experts say the “blue” and “super” don’t really have anything to do with each other.

Michelle Nichols, director of public observing at the Adler Planetarium, said the “blue” part refers to it being the second full moon happening in a calendar month. It’s the “super” aspect, she said, that may make it appear more impressive than normal.

“The moon is a little tiny bit bigger in the sky, a little bit,” Nichols said. “When you put those two together you get what we’re going to see tonight, which is a blue super moon.”

According to NASA, when the moon is closest to the Earth, which is a super moon, it appears 14% larger than when it’s farthest from the Earth. That’s about the difference in size between a quarter and a nickel.

The Adler’s observatory will be open Wednesday night with its telescopes out.

“We can see it. It’s easy to pick out. You can see it in the day time. You can see it at night. It’s always there,” Nichols said.

If it’s clear, look toward the southeastern sky sometime after 7:30 p.m. and you’ll start to see the blue super moon.

Guzman, who is the founder of the Chicago Astronomer, will hold a public observation session at Northerly Island, 1521 S. Linn White Drive, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. People are encouraged to bring their telescopes, and the group will assist in setting them up for the best view.

The Adler Planetarium is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with last admission at 9 p.m.



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