This March 31, a blue moon will be visible throughout the Earth. But it is not a blue moon anymore. On one hand, it will be an amazing preview of Easter Sunday. On the other, it is a blue moon "stolen from February," a curious phenomenon that only occurs every 19 years. See all the details!
What's a blue moon?
In a gist, a blue moon is when we have 2 full moons in the same month. The normal thing would be to have only one, of course. But, in this case, we had a full moon on March 1 and we will have another one on the 31st. Incredible!
But it doesn't end there. This blue moon, which we will see on March 31, will illuminate the sky the night before Easter Sunday, which makes it even more striking. For many people, Easter Sunday is a special day, and the blue full moon the day before fuels more of its mystique.
A different blue moon
No, it's not a blue moon anymore, it's a different blue moon. A common blue moon occurs every 2.5 years. But, in 2018, the blue moon is different. Do you remember the night of January 31? We also had a blue moon. And, as January and March had 2 full moons each, February did not have any!
This curious phenomenon occurs only once every 19 years. As you well know, almost everyone on Earth uses the same calendar, in which all months last 30 or 31 days, except February. But, for the Moon, each cycle lasts 29 days.
When all the coincidences are aligned, this happens: one month, February, it is left without a full moon, as if the Moon were saying "hey, your calendar is worth nothing." When that happens, we have January and March with two full moons each and February with none.
Is the blue moon blue or normal?
"Most Blue Moons look pale gray and white, indistinguishable from any other Moon you've ever seen. Squeezing a second full Moon into a calendar month doesn't change the physical properties of the Moon itself, so its color remains the same," explains NASA.
However, the Moon may look blue in a particular case: if a volcano erupts. In 1983, when El Chichón volcano in Mexico erupted, people reported to the police about the blue moon. But we do not want that, right?
The same thing happened 100 years ago when the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa exploded with the force of a 100 megaton nuclear bomb, recalls NASA. The ash clouds filtered the moonlight making it look blue, an amazing phenomenon.
Be that as it may, NASA recommends going out to see the Moon. Whether it will be blue or not, you will discover it at that moment, when, at night, look at the sky and see it there shining for the second time in the month.
You Might Also Like