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Why this weekend’s Blue Moon is extra rare (and how to see it)

A nearly-full moon rises above the Statue of Liberty on June 23, 2021. (Image credit: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

The saying “once in a blue moon” is especially pertinent this week: This Sunday (Aug. 22), the full Sturgeon Moon is expected to impress skygazers, particularly because of its “blue” designation.

Typically, the term “Blue Moon” refers to the second full moon within the same month. The last one rose on Oct. 31, 2020, when an eerie Blue Moon lit up the night sky on Halloween. But there’s a lesser-known definition, dating to 1528, which applies to the third full moon in a season with four full moons, according to NASA.

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