It happens because sometimes the number of days in a calendar month are greater than the cycle of the moon, which is This can cause the moon to rise twice in one month, near the first and the last days of the same month. It is said that blue moons happen every 33 months or about every 3 years. This relatively rare occurrence has spawned the saying "once in a blue moon". A Blue Moon cannot happen in February because the calendar month never has enough days.
Furthermore, sometimes the occurrence of a blue moon depends on your time zone. During a blue moon occurred in either in August or September depending on where you lived. If you lived east of the line that runs through the Atlantic Ocean, the blue moon occurred in September, but west of that line it occurred in August. In most years, each season contains 3 full moons.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Maine Farmers' Almanac listed blue moon dates for farmers. These correspond to the third full moon in a quarter of the year when there were four full moons normally a quarter year has three full moons. Full moon names were given to each lunation in a season.
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The seasons used were those of the mean tropical year , equal in length, as opposed to the astronomical seasons which vary in length because the earth's speed in its orbit round the sun is not uniform. To compare, in the equal seasons began at 1. When a season has four full moons the third is called the "blue moon" so that the last can continue to be called with the proper name for that season.
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This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon. The most literal meaning of blue moon is when the moon not necessarily a full moon appears to a casual observer to be unusually bluish, which is a rare event. The effect can be caused by smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere, as has happened after forest fires in Sweden and Canada in and ,  and after the eruption of Krakatoa in , which caused the moon to appear blue for nearly two years.
Helens in and Mount Pinatubo in On September 23, , several muskeg fires that had been smoldering for several years in Alberta, Canada, suddenly blew up into major—and very smoky—fires. Winds carried the smoke eastward and southward with unusual speed, and the conditions of the fire produced large quantities of oily droplets of just the right size about 1 micrometre in diameter to scatter red and yellow light.
Wherever the smoke cleared enough so that the sun was visible, it was lavender or blue. Ontario, Canada, and much of the east coast of the United States were affected by the following day, and two days later, observers in Britain reported an indigo sun in smoke-dimmed skies, followed by an equally blue moon that evening.
The key to a blue moon is having lots of particles slightly wider than the wavelength of red light 0. It is rare, but volcanoes sometimes produce such clouds, as do forest fires. Ash and dust clouds thrown into the atmosphere by fires and storms usually contain a mixture of particles with a wide range of sizes, with most smaller than 1 micrometer, and they tend to scatter blue light.
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This kind of cloud makes the moon turn red; thus red moons are far more common than blue moons. The following blue moons occur between and These dates use UTC as the timezone; exact dates vary with different timezones.
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Using the Maine Farmers' Almanac definition of blue moon meaning the third full moon in a season of four full moons, but referenced to astronomical rather than equal seasons , blue moons have occurred or will occur on:. Unlike the astronomical seasonal definition, these dates are dependent on the Gregorian calendar and time zones.
Two full moons in one month the second of which is a "blue moon" : . At that time there will be a total lunar eclipse. There are more modern songs, like Beck 's " Blue Moon. In the paranormal romance fiction novel by Laurell K. Hamilton of the same name, Blue Moon refers to two full moons occurring within the same month. The Smurfs TV show also featured the blue moon in an episode.
Blue moon is the name of a country in Nintendo's Advance Wars series. There is a move discussion in progress on Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Learn more Reserve our modern event space or outdoor terrace, perfect for hosting presentations, networking mixers and training seminars of up to 50 attendees. Learn more. Check Rates.
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