Blue Moon On Full Display This Friday

Posted on: 11:34 am, August 30, 2012, by , updated on: 11:35am, August 30, 2012

fullmoon

Have you ever heard of the old saying “once in a blue moon?”  Well, on Friday, we’ll see proof of what that saying is all about.

Clear your calendars!  On August 31st, the sky will be lit up with a bright full moon known as a Blue Moon.  Now, unless there is some smoke or haze in the sky, the moon will not look blue.  In fact, it will look like a typical full moon that most of us have seen in the past. So, what makes this one different?

It’s not often that we have two full moons in one month, but that’s just the case for the month of August.  That extra moon is typically called the Blue Moon – the second of two full moons to occur in a calendar month.  This event usually doesn’t happen every year, hence the saying “once in a blue moon.”  Blue moons typically occur one time in a blue moon year, but in 2018, there will be two blue moons that year – on January 31st and March 31st.  February will not have a full moon that year.

There is an older definition for the blue moon.  In fact, blue moons have also been called the third full moon of four in a season.  Most seasons – winter, spring, summer, and fall – have three full moons.  But if a season has four, then that third full moon can be called a blue moon.  The next blue moon by that definition would occur next year on August 21, 2013.

So enjoy the full moon Friday night!  It should be a fantastic sight to end the week.

Source: earthsky.org