Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blue Moon: It Ain't Blue, But It's Pretty

Full moons are especially fascinating to me as I grow older if for no other reason than that they are simply beautiful. Tonight, we get an extra, rare dose of full moon: the blue moon which happens once in a ... well ... blue moon. Seven times in 19 years, to be precise.

And, no, this has nothing to do with the visuals. The blue moon usually occurs when there are two full moons in a month, but that's not what is happening tonight. This will be the only full moon in November and December has but one, as well, but this is the third full moon of the quarter. On Dec. 21, a few hours before the winter solstice kicks over the season, we'll have the fourth full moon of the quarter. The solstice comes at 6:38 p.m. Eastern time, but the moon is full at 3:13 a.m., giving us the fourth one of the quarter.

There's a pretty detailed explanation of full moons and blue moons here, but I'll spare you those details in this short blog post. I will note that next month's full moon will come with a total eclipse.


  1. Thanks for the link to the more detailed explanation. I think you meant to say the third and fourth full moon of the season, not the quarter, no?

  2. Bill:
    Isn't a season three months, or a quarter? Same difference, I suspect.