A Blue Moon will be present for all to see on Friday, August 31, 2012. Don’t miss this one, because you’ll not get another one for almost three years.
The Moon will become a full moon at 9:58 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), or 1358 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on August 31st.
This “second full moon in one month”, or so called the Blue Moon, will not occur again until July 2015. Blue moons exist due to our calendar months being imperfectly synched to the lunar months. It takes 29.5 days for the moon to orbit Earth, during which sky watchers observe all of its phases. All calendar months, aside from February, have 30 or 31 days, resulting in the occasional two full moons within a single month.
But, don’t be disappointed if you don’t actually see a “blue” colored Moon. The term Blue Moon is named so because it is relatively rare (on average just once every 2.7 years). That is, it’s only seen “once in a blue moon.” On average, about 27 Blue Moons occur in any given century. So far, in the twenty-first century, we’ve had five of them.
However, what is rare is a bluish colored Blue Moon. It only occurs when something like a volcanic eruption or a forest fire causes the atmosphere to make the Moon appear to be a little bluish.
Native Americans drew constellations, created star lore, and built structures in alignment with the sky long before Europeans arrived on American shores.
Like other groups, they tracked the motions of the Sun to help them decide when to plant crops, move their camps, or stage sacred rituals.
Their stories contained explanations of the constellations they saw as patterns of bright stars, meteor showers, the Northern Lights, and saw in what we call the Milky Way a pathway to the afterlife.
Some tribes built great circles of stones to help them predict the changing seasons, or ceremonial sites and mounds of earth in alignment with the Sun and stars and to reflect the patterns they saw in the heavens.
In any case, go outside and watch the Moon be Full and be a Blue Moon on Friday. This is a powerful time to say prayers for everyone. Hopefully you’ll have a clear night sky over your locality on Earth.
Neil Armstrong family statement “Next time you walk outside on clear night & see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil & give him a wink.”