A blue moon, for anyone who may not be aware at this point, is basically the second full moon in any given month. No, it does not appear blue, but this occurrence is not something we would consider to be ‘common.’
This blue moon, in particular, will fall on March 31st and will be at it’s fullest early in the morning around 1:30 am to be exact. If weather conditions are clear you should be able to see it from just about anywhere but for the best view a telescope or even some binoculars might come in handy. The blue moon brings a lot of energy with it and we are all able to benefit from it.
When it comes to the origin of the ‘blue moon’ in itself or at least it’s actual definition, EarthSky has reported as follows:
The time between one full moon and the next is close to the length of a calendar month. So the only time one month can have two full moons is when the first full moon happens in the first few days of the month. This happens every two to three years, so these sorts of Blue Moons come about that often.
The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month stemmed from the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine, which contained an article called “Once in a Blue Moon” by James Hugh Pruett. Pruett was referring to the 1937 Maine Farmer’s Almanac, but he inadvertently simplified the definition. He wrote:
“Seven times in 19 years there were — and still are — 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon.”
Had James Hugh Pruett looked at the actual date of the 1937 Blue Moon, he would have found that it had occurred August 21, 1937. Also, there were only 12 full moons in 1937. You need 13 full moons in one calendar year to have two full moons in one calendar month.
However, that fortuitous oversight gave birth to a new and perfectly understandable definition for Blue Moon.
As I mentioned above, the blue moon itself is not technically blue, it does appear quite normal but there are some conditions in which the moon can actually appear blue. While it is extremely rare if the right sized particles of dust or smoke make their way in front you might be able to see one of that color.
Will you be taking the time to look up at the sky on the night of the 31st? I know I will. I rarely ever miss a full moon.