Blue Moon – What is It, Really?

The Blue Moon is an enigma. One thing that is known for sure is that it is a Full Moon, but is it really blue?

The upcoming Blue Moon on November 21st could be a much-anticipated event. Yet, it’s possible that the questions surrounding this celebrated phenomenon are more than the reality itself.

The Blue Moon picked up momentum after a few offbeat events. Mystical reverence for the Blue Moon goes as far back in history as four hundred years. To tell the truth, it is still shrouded in mystery to this day.

A misquote from the Farmer’s Almanac once appeared about the Blue Moon, and it was subsequently picked up by two more news sources. So, the beginning of a hullabaloo surrounding the Blue Moon gained much attention.

“Once in a Blue Moon” became an almost overused phrase. It’s so much more colorful to describe a rarity with a phrase referencing the moon. It has been a popular phrase for quite some time now.

Blue Moon folklore has many fallacies to sort out. It may be that another name could be “Mystery Moon,” because it’s hardly ever actually blue in color.

Along with the ambiguous meanings and dates considered differently by a number of calendars, there is the matter of timing. Systems incorporated into different calendars vary depending on whether one looks at an Ecclesiastical calendar or uses sidereal, or tropical time to determine characteristics of an official Blue Moon.

One thing for sure, we love our phrase, “Once in a Blue Moon.” Yet despite the romantic illusions surrounding this ambiguous lunar event, the moon is rarely ever blue.

Particles in the atmosphere are what cause a blue tint, and on a Full Moon, it is most noticeable. But the blueness is erratic at best. If any huge forest fires are raging the atmospheric dust may cause a blue effect.

Years ago, after the eruptions of the volcano, Krakatoa, steam kept coming out in the aftermath for a long time. There was a continual Blue Moon for two years after Krakatoa’s initial eruption.

Image via Wikipedia

Other lunar observers claim that the true meaning of the Blue Moon is based on timing. Whenever, two Full Moons happen in one month, one of them is definitively considered a Blue Moon.

All in all, the best part about the Full Moon that someone described as blue has become a romantic notion. Beautiful songs describing dreamy niches on moonlit nights have been very popular and plentiful.

When a Blue Moon is announced, it’s an opportunity to invite that person you’ve been longing for out into the moonlit night for a colorful romantic interlude, whether the moon is really blue or not.

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One Response to “Blue Moon – What is It, Really?”
  1. Roe2115 Says...

    On October 24, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Good post. Very informative.

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