Blue Moon?

November 30, 2001


Provided by: Michael Myers
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster

Do you remember the old doo wop song "Blue Moon?"

"Blue moon, you saw me standing alone, without a gleam in my heart, without a love of my own, Bom ba bom, bom bom bom, bom bom ba, dang dang dang, dinga dong ding, baluuuu moooon." You know, they just don't write songs today like they used to.

Tonight's (Friday, November 30) full moon is the second full moon this month (at least in the Eastern Time Zone). According to the modern definition, it's a "blue moon" since it's the second full moon in a given month. However, according to the Maine Farmer's Almanac, a "blue moon" is referred to as the 3rd full moon in a season having 4 full moons. Using their definition, tonight's full moon is not a "blue moon." Their next "blue moon" will occur next November.

It's possible that the moon can actually appear bluish. This can happen when smoke particles from burning fires, dust or other atmospheric particulates scatter moonlight in such a way that the moon has a hint of blue. The photo of the pearly full moon above was taken on a hazy night in March 1999 - the 2nd full moon that month.

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