Once in a blue moon!

May 20th, 2016: It doesn’t happen too often, but we have a blue moon coming Saturday night!

No, the moon won’t be blue (how cool would that be?!), but it is a special event. A blue moon is essentially an “extra” full moon. It has a few definitions though.

BLUE MOON1

A blue moon is considered: a) the 2nd full moon of the month (a month typically has only one full moon), OR b) the 3rd full moon in a season with 4 full moons (a season typically has 3 full moons, since we have 3 months per season). The second definition is considered the “older” or “more historical” definition, but either apply.

BLUE MOON2

This weekend features the 2nd type of blue moon.  This will be the 3rd of 4 full moons this spring.  Making this “rare” full moon a little more special is a visit from a friend: Mars! If you go out Saturday night and look at the full moon, you’ll see a red-looking bright “star” near the full moon.  That isn’t a star, however, it’s Mars!  Mars is at its closest to Earth in its orbit, which is why it will be bright in our sky.  If you have a telescope, you’ll be able to see some features of Mars, so get out and enjoy the night sky!

-Alex

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Posted under weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 20, 2016

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