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Space & Astronomy

All eyes on the sky for tonight's blue moon

By T.K. Randall
July 31, 2015 · Comment icon 6 comments

A blue moon is considered to be a rare occurrence. Image Credit: CC BY-2.0 Jason Bache
An infrequent astronomical phenomenon is due to appear tonight for the first time in three years.
The event occurs when a full moon appears for a second time within the same calendar month and despite its name has nothing to do with the color of the moon at all.

The last time a blue moon occurred was back in 2012 and the next one will be in 2018 so tonight represents a rare opportunity to see one.
"A blue moon occurs when two full moons can be seen in the same month of a given year," said Peter Drew of the Astronomy Centre at Todmorden, Lancashire.

"As the moon's period is 28 days it is possible for this to happen in any month other than February which is too short a duration. Due to the moon's orbit this phenomenon doesn't happen every qualifying month so the occurrence is infrequent, the last one was on August 31, 2012."

Astronomers believe that there may only be 12 blue moons between now and 2043.



Source: BBC News | Comments (6)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by lilnat89 9 years ago
looking forward to this hopefully see something in Liverpool
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 9 years ago
This is a modern myth and is actually wrong. The use of "blue moon" to mean the second full moon in a calendar month dates back only to 1946 when the magazine Sky and Telescope made a mistake, the phrase, "once in a blue moon," is much, MUCH older. Here is a fuller explanation with links: http://www.unexplain...5
Comment icon #3 Posted by glorybebe 9 years ago
Well, was huge here last night. Just gorgeous. Almost as big as a hot air balloon floating above the mountains.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Misanthropic 9 years ago
'Blue moon, i saw you standing alone...' Twas beautiful though. Lit up my otherwise pretty dark street.
Comment icon #5 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 9 years ago
"First time in three years" is not a feat
Comment icon #6 Posted by Zalmoxis 9 years ago
The moon didn't look blue at all.


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