Singing the blues: August will be a blue moon month
August will be a special month when it comes to the full moon. It will bring us not one, but two full moons. The first will kick off the month on Wednesday,Aug.1, and the second will be follow on Aug. 31. According to some almanacs and calendars when two full moons occur within a calendar month, the second full moon is called a "blue moon."
There is an exception however for those living in the Kamchatka region of the Russian Far East as well as in New Zealand. That same full moon occurs after midnight, on the calendar date of Sept. 1. So in these regions of world, there will not be the second of two full moons in August, but the first of two full moons in September.
The full moon on the 31st will likely look no different than any other full moon and not resemble it's name of "blue moon". But the moon really can change color under certain conditions. After forest fires or volcanic eruptions, the moon can appear to take on a bluish or even lavender hue. Soot and ash particles, deposited high in the Earth's atmosphere, can sometimes make the moon appear bluish. For example in the aftermath of the massive eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in June 1991 it was reported there were blue moons worldwide.
The term "once in a blue moon" was first expressed in 1824 and it refers to occurrences that are uncommon, though not truly rare. It appears to have evolved out of the fact that the word "belewe" came from the Old English, meaning, "to betray." To have two full moons in the same month is not as uncommon as would be thought though. It occurs, on average, about every 2.66 years and in the year of 1999, it occurred twice in a span of just three months.
Be sure to enjoy this interesting occurrence this month because the next time we will see two full moons in a single month comes in July 2015 on the 1st and the 31st. Happy Full Moon watching!
Enjoy the wonderful photos of the blue moon below.