Friday, August 31, 2012

Tonights Blue Moon Will be the Last one For 3 Years - Video

Tonight will be the last blue moon for three years but the second full moon of the month.


A blue moon will grace the night sky on Friday, August 31 and don't expect another one until July 2015.

People with less than ideal viewing conditions can watch the lunar event online. The Slooh Space Camera will broadcast the moon starting at 6 p.m. with a feed from the Prescott Observatory in Arizona and an observatory in the Canary Islands. The broadcast will appropriately honor Neil Armstrong who recently passed away. 




Despite its colorful name, there's nothing particularly blue about a blue moon. It simply means the second full moon of the month, so don't expect to see a different hue that night.

Since full moons occur every 29 days and the last one appeared on August 2, we are scheduled to witness a blue moon on Friday. This will be the first blue moon since March 2010, nearly 30 months ago

But you shouldn't worry if you thought blue moon meant the moon would change colors. The popular definition of blue moon, in use today, is actually founded on a mistake.

Back in 1946, an amateur astronomer James Pruett read the phrase in the Maine Farmers' Almanac. The book defined a blue moon as the third full moon of a season with four full moons. Pruett misinterpreted the term as meaning the second blue moon of the month.

It would have stopped there had Pruett not written an article titled "Once in a Blue Moon" for Sky & Telescope magazine. He used the incorrect definition and it stuck, reports Space.com.



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