A RARE Blue Moon should be in the night sky over the UK this weekend
The phenomenon known as a “blue moon” occurs when there is a second full moon in the same calendar month.
What is a Blue Moon?
A full moon occurs when the earth comes directly between the sun and the moon.
It happens every 29 and a half days, and each month’s full moon has a special name.
This is because Native American tribes kept track of the months of the year by the lunar calendar.
A Blue Moon is the name of any month’s second full moon – an event that only occurs once every three years.
It led to people coining the phrase “once in a blue moon”, meaning something that doesn’t happen very often.
When is the next Blue Moon?
The next Blue Moon is tonight, on Saturday, August 21, 2021.
Tonight’s moon is a seasonal Blue Moon, meaning it’s the third of four full moons in a season (the time between a solstice and an equinox).
Blue moons aren’t actually blue – the confusion is because the term originates in “blewe”, the old English word for “betrayer”.
Normally, a year would have 12 moons, but when a moon appears for the 13th time – it was perceived to have ‘betrayed’ the lunar cycle.
However, a moon can appear blue if the right kind of dust is kicked up into the atmosphere, and filtering out excessive red light.
How often is a Blue Moon?
A Blue Moon does not usually happen more than once a year.
Generally, Blue Moons come around once every two or three years.
The next Blue Moon will occur in August 2023.
What does a Blue Moon mean?
Folklore often associates a Blue Moon with the growth of knowledge and wisdom within the phases of a woman’s life.
The moon generally being connected with the feminine.
Although generally there is no particular association with a Blue Moon although spiritualists and pagans see it as a particularly magical time.