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#377016 - 31st Dec 2009 6:37pm Blue Moon - Go Look
starbuck75 Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 5th Aug 2009
Posts: 340
Loc: Upton
Blue Moon on New Year's Eve

Taken from NASA
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/29dec_bluemoon.htm



Party planners take note. For the first time in almost twenty years, there's going to be a Blue Moon on New Year's Eve.

"I remember the last time this happened," says professor Philip Hiscock of the Dept. of Folklore at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. "December 1990 ended with a Blue Moon, and many New Year's Eve parties were themed by the event. It was a lot of fun."

Don't expect the Moon to actually turn blue, though. "The 'Blue Moon' is a creature of folklore," he explains. "It's the second full Moon in a calendar month."

Most months have only one full Moon. The 29.5-day cadence of the lunar cycle matches up almost perfectly with the 28- to 31-day length of calendar months. Indeed, the word "month" comes from "Moon." Occasionally, however, the one-to-one correspondence breaks down when two full Moons squeeze into a single month. Dec. 2009 is such a month. The first full Moon appeared on Dec. 2nd; the second, a "Blue Moon," will come on Dec. 31st. This definition of Blue Moon is relatively new.

If you told a person in Shakespeare's day that something happens "once in a Blue Moon" they would attach no astronomical meaning to the statement. Blue moon simply meant rare or absurd, like making a date for the Twelfth of Never. "But meaning is a slippery substance," says Hiscock. "The phrase 'Blue Moon' has been around for more than 400 years, and during that time its meaning has shifted."

The modern definition sprang up in the 1940s. In those days, the Farmer's Almanac of Maine offered a definition of Blue Moon so convoluted that even professional astronomers struggled to understand it. It involved factors such as the ecclesiastical dates of Easter and Lent, and the timing of seasons according to the dynamical mean sun. Aiming to explain blue moons to the layman, Sky & Telescope published an article in 1946 entitled "Once in a Blue Moon." The author James Hugh Pruett cited the 1937 Maine almanac and opined that the "second [full moon] in a month, so I interpret it, is called Blue Moon." That was not correct, but at least it could be understood. And thus the modern Blue Moon was born.

Blue moon has other connotations, too. In music, it's often a symbol of melancholy. According to one Elvis tune, it means "without a love of my own." On the bright side, he croons in another song, a simple kiss can turn a Blue Moon pure gold.

The modern astronomical Blue Moon occurs in some month every 2.5 years, on average. A Blue Moon falling precisely on Dec. 31st, however, is much more unusual. The last time it happened was in 1990, and the next time won't be until 2028.

So cue up that old Elvis record and "enjoy the extra moonlight on New Year's Eve," says Hiscock. "It only happens once in a Blue Moon."

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#377019 - 31st Dec 2009 6:41pm Re: Blue Moon - Go Look [Re: starbuck75]
bobi1 Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 5th Dec 2009
Posts: 572
Loc: wirral
HAHAHA you caught me-I actually looked. "Doesn't look blue to me" I thought, lol.

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#377020 - 31st Dec 2009 6:42pm Re: Blue Moon - Go Look [Re: bobi1]
starbuck75 Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 5th Aug 2009
Posts: 340
Loc: Upton
If you read the above, it doesn't actually turn blue but it does look pretty amazing, its a bit cloudy tonight but keep an eye on it, its stunning.

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#377023 - 31st Dec 2009 6:54pm Re: Blue Moon - Go Look [Re: starbuck75]
Shadow_Omega Offline

Wise One

Registered: 29th Apr 2009
Posts: 871
Loc: Leasowe
doesnt look that blue.


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#377025 - 31st Dec 2009 6:56pm Re: Blue Moon - Go Look [Re: Shadow_Omega]
starbuck75 Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 5th Aug 2009
Posts: 340
Loc: Upton
tease

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#378340 - 6th Jan 2010 7:01pm Re: Blue Moon - Go Look [Re: starbuck75]
starbuck75 Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 5th Aug 2009
Posts: 340
Loc: Upton
Heres a pic NASA released of the blue moon with partial eclipse.
Lovely smile


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#378375 - 6th Jan 2010 9:09pm Re: Blue Moon - Go Look [Re: starbuck75]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
The blue moon apparently caused flooding in London on the Thames.
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#378379 - 6th Jan 2010 9:15pm Re: Blue Moon - Go Look [Re: MissGuided]
Sanchez Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 17th Dec 2003
Posts: 8019
Loc: my house
Thats white as the snow?
_________________________
Uncertainty or not knowing causes depression, Im happy because I know I'm going to die one day!

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#378392 - 6th Jan 2010 9:48pm Re: Blue Moon - Go Look [Re: starbuck75]
starbuck75 Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 5th Aug 2009
Posts: 340
Loc: Upton
Originally Posted By: starbuck75
Don't expect the Moon to actually turn blue, though. "The 'Blue Moon' is a creature of folklore, It's the second full Moon in a calendar month."


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#378404 - 6th Jan 2010 10:00pm Re: Blue Moon - Go Look [Re: starbuck75]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1546
Loc: Birkenhead
standing in Birkenhead park last Thursday night it looked blue {the moon}
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Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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