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Types of Blue Moons Explained
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Last Updated On
May 01 2016
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The Next Blue Moon Date
That Blue Moon may not really be...!
More Blue Moon Information @ Seasonal Blue Moon
So, what is a blue moon, really? Seems that this term is more of an enigma than most of us ever realized. While there are some songs about the blue moon, most seem to really be about being sad and lonely. There are a lot of cafes and book stores out there with blue moon in the name. I'm not at all sure why, other than it seems to be a cool name.
It is possible to have two full moons in any calendar month with the exception of February since there are normally only 28 days in that month, (except during a leap year when there are 29 days in February). Unless I'm wrong (and yes, that is conceivable) I do not think it is possible for a second Full Moon to occur in the month of February. If a blue moon were to occur in February, then that would truly be a "once in a blue moon" event! I was not able to find any February blue moons in my 300 year search of unusual moon events. If anyone can find a February blue moon, please feel free to send me an email with the year and time zone that it occurred in.
The average number of days between Full Moons is 29.53059 days. This is called a lunation or synodic month. However, that is not an "exact" and it is possible to be a little shorter or a little longer in time depending on other factors. Now, if your math is up to snuff, you begin to see that it is possible to have 13 full moons in a calendar year since the 13 Full Moons would occur in approximately 354 days while there are 365/6 days in a year. This explains why we end up with an "extra" Full Moon to deal with once in a while in a given year.
Now that is the basic and recent definition of the blue moon. However, as with any story, there are other perspectives and information in defining and describing the meaning of the blue moon. Therefore, this page is a work in progress and will be updated as more information is researched and discovered. Several years ago, there was a great article written by Philip Hiscock, "The Folklore of the Blue Moon" that could be found online at the Griffith Observatory website. But it is no longer available. If you can find it, definitely give it a read.
A great resource for moon facts and information is Keith's Moon Facts.
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