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Don’t miss this week’s super blue moon. Your next chance is 14 years away.

The super blue moon rises on Wednesday night

The last blue moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty, as seen from Liberty State Park in Jersey City in 2015. Another one can be spotted on Aug. 30. (Julio Cortez/AP)
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Sky watchers wanting to see a once in a blue moon event should look up on Wednesday night. The super blue moon spectacle that night will be the third-largest moon that has appeared to date this year — nearing the end of the four-part supermoon series.

Who knew that the phrase, “Once in a blue moon,” had ties to astronomy? It means simply something that happens rarely — like super blue moons gracing our skies.

A super blue moon occurs when a second super moon rises in a single month. The last time a super blue moon appeared was Jan. 31, 2018, and the next won’t occur until Jan. 31, 2037, according to NASA ambassador Tony Rice.

“Blue moons happen every two to three years. Supermoons happen several times per year. But those two concepts only intersect rarely,” Rice said.

Before the spectacle begins, here’s everything you need to know:

When and where can you see the super blue moon?

Like any other night, if you can look up and see the moon Wednesday, you’ll be able to see the super blue moon. Lucky for everyone, the show isn’t a location-dependent display.

The best time to view the super moon in all its glory is at moonrise, according to Rice. (You can look up moonrise at your location at; in Washington, it will be at 7:54 p.m. on Aug. 30)

The moon won’t be the only icon in the southeastern sky that night. Saturn will be a guest star, or rather planet, hanging high above the moon on its descent from opposition which occurred on Sunday. During opposition — the time when Earth straddles perfectly between Saturn and the Sun — the ringed, gas giant will shine.

The super blue moon and Saturn will rise together and be separated by about five degrees. Not sure what five degrees is? If you hold your hand out to the sky, tuck your pinky and thumb in, the three remaining fingers, pressed together, measure five degrees. Do that above the illuminating moon and you’ll find Saturn, according to Rice.

Interested viewers will probably be able to see Saturn without a telescope but you may need some equipment if you want to see its iconic seven rings. It’s also the time when Saturn, the second largest planet in the solar system, is closest to the Earth.

Why is it called a super blue moon?

Some viewers maybe be disappointed to know that super blue moons don’t paint the moons in blue hues the way that blood moons radiate streaks of red light. The name blue moon simply means that August will be marked by two supermoons. The first supermoon of the month, a sturgeon moon, shone on Aug. 1.

Why are blue moons so rare?

You won’t want to miss this spectacle because this will be the only time there will be two full moons in one month this year. The next time there will be a month dotted with two full moons is 2026, Rice said. The last blue moon was in 2020.

Super moons, full moons that occur when the moon is at the closest point of orbit to the Earth, can appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than the smallest-seeming full moon, according to NASA. Sky watchers can see four supermoons each year: They always happen consecutively and roughly 29.5 days apart.

The last of the year’s supermoon series, the fall harvest moon, will rise Sept. 29.

Super blue moons occur about every eight years but we’ll have to wait another 14 years to see this again, Rice said.