Super blue moon visible across Irish skies again tonight

Celestial phenomenon, which will not occur again until 2037, will be visible on Thursday too, giving plenty of opportunity to catch a glimpse

Irish stargazers will tonight have a second opportunity to spot a super blue moon that is visible this week for the first time in more than a decade.

The celestial phenomenon will not occur again until 2037. But even with the threat of cloudy weather, it is visible for three full nights this week - Tuesday to Thursday - giving a significant opportunity to catch a glimpse.

A super blue moon is the rare combination of a super moon and a blue moon. The last one occurred in 2009.

A blue moon happens around once every two to three years when there are two full moons in a single calendar month. When this occurs, the second full moon is known as a blue moon.


Wednesday evening will bring mixed weather conditions, according to Met Éireann, with cloud thickening in patchy rain and drizzle to the west and southwest but largely dry elsewhere.

Super moons are related to the distance between the earth and moon – when a full moon happens at its closest point to the earth. Each year has about three such super moons. However, it is extremely rare for a blue moon to appear in sync with a super moon and is considered a visible astronomical phenomenon not to be missed.

“As there are 12 full moons every year that means there have been 168 full moons to give one super blue moon,” explained David Moore of Astronomy Ireland. “Technically, the exact instant the moon is full is Wednesday night as seen from Ireland. However, to the naked eye it looks full the night before and after.”

Mr Moore explained that a super blue moon will be the largest it can possibly appear.

Those heading out can hardly miss it on a clear night, but are advised to look east at sun set, when it will rise in the opposite direction to where the sun has gone down.

“This should give the most impressive view due to an extra effect [called] moon illusion,” Mr Moore added.

The ideal time to watch is just as the moon is rising. From Ireland this happens on Wednesday from 8.35pm and on Thursday from 8.50pm.

Astronomy Ireland appealed to members of the public to send in their best photographs of the event, with details available at

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times