The Truth Behind This Month's Blue Moon

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Dark Knight, May 28, 2007.

  1. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    Thursday, May 31 brings us the second of two full Moons for North Americans this month. Some almanacs and calendars assert that when two full Moons occur within a calendar month, that the second full Moon is called the "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.


    After forest fires or volcanic eruptions, the Moon can appear to take on a bluish or even lavender hue. Soot and ash particles, deposited high in the Earth's atmosphere can sometimes make the Moon appear bluish. Smoke from widespread forest fire activity in western Canada created a blue Moon across eastern North America in late September 1950. In the aftermath of the massive eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in June 1991 there were reports of blue moons (and even blue Suns) worldwide.


    Origin of the term


    The phrase "Once in a blue Moon" was first noted in 1824 and refers to occurrences that are uncommon, though not truly rare. Yet, to have two full Moons in the same month is not as uncommon as one might think. In fact, it occurs, on average, about every 32 months. And in the year 1999, it occurred twice in a span of just three months!


    For the longest time no one seemed to have a clue as to where the "Blue Moon Rule" originated. Many years ago in the pages of Natural History magazine, I speculated that the rule might have evolved out of the fact that the word "belewe" came from the Old English, meaning, "to betray." "Perhaps," I suggested, "the second full Moon is 'belewe' because it betrays the usual perception of one full moon per month."


    But as innovative as my explanation was, it turned out to be completely wrong.

    Rest at link:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20070525/sc_space/thetruthbehindthismonthsbluemoon&printer=1


     
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  3. close_enough

    close_enough Inactive

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    well, isn't that interesting...

    ugh, got to drag my butt on out the door & head for work.....later folks...
     
  4. Meduza

    Meduza New Member

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    Ours was a red ringed one tonight, wonder what tomorrows will be like. So no bad curses or luck is associated with it then?
     
  5. Elphaba

    Elphaba Defying Gravity...

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    *puts my astronomy/science geek cap on*

    I am sure some sect out there has appended something like curses and luck to a "blue moon", but to be honest, there is nothing exactly significant about it, because it is only a "blue moon" through the concept of man-made calendars. Not everyone in the world follow the calendars we follow, and even our own caledars have undergone changes at one time or another, in the past... and other timezones in the world will see the moon actually reach "full" on June 1st, not May 31st. (Like England... the moon doesn't reach full until in the wee hours of June 1st.)

    True blue moons do exist... as the article pointed out: volcanic dust can cause it to happen... but speaking from personal experience of seeing a few "blue moons" while at the telescope: if the dynamics are right and microfine ice crystals are evenly spread out in our atmosphere, the moon can take on a subtle blue hue. It is just a product of light play...
     
  6. Sundayrain

    Sundayrain Life's a dance, you learn as you go*

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    Thank you Dark Knight for reminding me of all that wonderful information.........and now I am singing one of my favorite songs.......
    "Blue Moon" by Steve Holy ( doesnt' have the same words of the OLD Blue Moon song of the 50's)
     
  7. philamena

    philamena Former Member

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    Dark Knight,
    Thanks so much for the article. I'm passing the link along to friends and family.;)
     
  8. LuvChocolate

    LuvChocolate Inactive

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    Very interesting, thanks for post that.:)
     

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