Once in a ‘blue moon’ is technically Friday morning at 6:43 AM EDT, but it might look like it tonight. That is if the weather clears for you. So on the bright side, it will appear nearly full to the naked eye both Thursday and Friday nights. Sadly you can tell the kids it is not really blue. That can happen with atmospheric haze or dust, even in the cold winter with a snow covered ground. It was well noted in 1883 after the huge volcanic eruption of Krakatoa that send a global ash cloud shading the moon blue. But what it really means is the event or timing two full moons in a short period of time. It is an expression that has worked into our culture to describe a rare event. In fact there are two meanings to the real expression, one of which was a mistake.
Originally a blue moon described having an extra full moon in a season. The lunar orbit around Earth is 29.5 days. Since a season is three months long, we would expect to have three full moons during that time. But farmers noted that on some occasions, an additional full moon would be fit into that period.
It was a mistake published by Sky and Telescope magazine in March of 1946 that brought our modern expression. That was where it was written that two full moons in the same month was the blue moon.
Ironically the song, Blue Moon was written before this in 1934 by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. It was covered and released by many artists including Billie Holiday, Mel Torme, Chris Isaak, and Elvis Presley.
Last Blue Moon Was Symbolic
One notable cosmic coincidence that is brought to mind dates back nearly 3 years ago to the last blue moon. It was on August 31 in 2012, the same day that Neil Armstrong was buried. He had died a week earlier at the age of 82. Feeling ‘blue’ for the first man to walk on the moon was something the NASA family took to heart. The odds of that happening… astronomical.
Next One, Actually Two in 2018
It will be another two and a half years until we have another Blue Moon when winter will bring the first of two. The first will be on January 31, 2018. Then the even more rare- month without a full moon will occur when the 28 days of February that year will be void of the celestial event. Thus leaving two more full moons in March… wight the 31st being the second blue of that year. Technically that will be spring-time, but
I may lose my scientist card for this, but I just want to cover all the bases. Since the moon is in the house of Aquarius (the water sign) and the sun is in Leo (the fire sign), it is believed in some circles that you should have balance in your life… even if there are extremes. Take the good with the bad, but focus on the blend in between.
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