Sunday, July 29, 2012

Blue Moon in August


The month of August brings us not one, but two full moons. The first will kick off the month on Wednesday (Aug.1), and will be followed by a second on Aug. 31.
Some almanacs and calendars assert that when two full moons occur within a calendar month, the second full moon is called a "blue moon."
The full moon that night will likely look no different than any other full moon. But the moon can change color in certain conditions. 
Two full moons in the same month is not as uncommon as one might think.  In fact, it occurs, on average, about every 2.66 years.  And in the year 1999, it occurred twice in a span of just three months. 
While we've assigned the name blue moon to the second full moon of the month, it seems that we have no such name for the second new moon of the month.  Nonetheless, these opposing phases seem to be connected with each other. For if two new moons occur within a specific month, then in most cases, four years later, two full moons will also occur in that very same month. 
As an example, there were two new moons in August 2008. Now, four years later, August 2012 will be graced with two full moons.
The next time we will see two full moons in a single month comes in July 2015 (July 1 and 31). But if you still have a calendar leftover from last year, check the month of July. 

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