Friday, August 31, 2012

Once In a Blue Moon--Tonite! Don't Miss it!!

Don't miss Friday night's rare blue moon beauty

By: Courtney Baird

On Friday night a rare blue moon will rise in the sky in an astronomical event that occurs only once every three years or so. If you're hoping to see the blue moon but the sky above you is cloudy, don't fret. The web-based Slooh Space Camera will broadcast the event live beginning at 6 p.m. EDT. (The website's even got a countdown clock to its blue moon coverage.)
Friday evening's blue moon will allow fans of the late Neil Armstrong to marvel at man's incredible feat. Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the lunar surface back in 1969. This photo was taken early Friday morning as the moon technically turned full. Photo: Travis Burke
If you're more inclined to watch the real thing, the best viewing is usually available outside of town, away from the glare of city lights. Viewing is enhanced even more if you can find a nearby lake or pond that will reflect the moon's light. Of course, avoiding cloud cover is a must, so knowing where find patches of clear sky is key. Chances are there's a micro climate near you to do so.

Folklore will tell you that strange things go bump in the night when there's a blue moon--but what folklore won't tell you is that blue moons aren't really blue. The term is a misnomer and actually refers to the second of two full moons that occur during the same calendar month.
Because the lunar cycle is 29.5 days, most months only see one full moon. But every once in a while a full moon rises twice in the same month. The next time we humans will see a blue moon is on July 31, 2015.

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