Blue Moon

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “once in a blue moon” which is widely used to describe rare or seldom events. However, it wasn’t until I was in high school that I learned the true origins of the colloquial phrase. After seeing an article headline announcing the occurrence of a blue moon, my friend and I decided to drive out to a lookout late at night to get a better view. When we arrived, we were stumped to notice that the moon did not appear blue at all! At this point I looked for the article on my phone and actually read past the headline to hopefully provide an answer to our confusion.

Shown above is a picture of a full moon taken using a blue filtered camera. https://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/watchtheskies/07jul_bluemoon.html

As it turns out, a blue moon should not look any different from any another full moon! The term is just used to denote the second full moon of the month. I learned from the article that most months only exhibit one full moon due to the lunar cycle. According to NASA, the lunar cycle is 29 days and the average month is 30 or 31 days meaning that the blue moon should occur every 2 and a half years.

At the end of the night, we felt pretty silly. However, we were still able to see a beautiful full moon on a lovely night.

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