This month we’ll get to see a Full Moon on August 22, 2021, known by some early Native American tribes of the northeastern United States, as the Sturgeon Moon. The name was given to the Moon because the large sturgeon fish of the Great Lakes, and other major lakes, were more easily caught at this time of year. But that’s not all! We also get to see a Blue Moon!
We’ve all heard the phrase “once in a Blue Moon,” which usually refers to something that rarely happens. Blue Moons do sometimes happen in Earth’s night sky, giving rise to this phrase. But what is a Blue Moon?
Well, we have two kinds of Blue Moons – monthly and seasonal.
A monthly Blue Moon is the second Full Moon in a calendar month with two Full Moons. Then, there’s a seasonal Blue Moon – the third Full Moon of an astronomical season that has four Full Moons.
In astronomy, a season is the period of time between a solstice and equinox, or vice versa. Each season – winter, spring, summer or fall – lasts three months and usually has three Full Moons, occurring about 30 days apart. Because June’s Full Moon came just a few days after the June (Summer) solstice, we will see four Full Moons in the current summer season, which ends at the September equinox on September 22.
The third Full Moon – our seasonal Blue Moon – will happen on August 22. All Full Moons are opposite the Sun, as viewed from Earth, rising fully illuminated at local time around sunset and setting around sunrise.
Perhaps you’re wondering if the Moon ever actually takes on a blue color. Well, Blue Moons that are blue in color are extremely rare and have nothing to do with the calendar or the Moon’s phases; they don’t have to be Full Moons either. When a blue-colored Moon happens, the blue color is the result of water droplets in the air, certain types of clouds, or particles thrown into the atmosphere by natural catastrophes, such as volcanic ash and smoke. Also, blue-colored Moons in photos are made using special blue filters for cameras or in post-processing software.
In 1883, an Indonesian volcano called Krakatoa produced an eruption so large that scientists compared it to a 100-megaton nuclear bomb. Ash from the Krakatoa explosion rose as high into the atmosphere as 80 kilometers (50 miles). Many of these ash particles can be about 1 micron in size, which could scatter red light and act as a blue filter, resulting in the Moon appearing blue.
Blue-colored Moons appeared for years following the 1883 eruption. Many other volcanoes throughout history, and even wildfires, have been known to affect the color of the Moon. As a rule of thumb, to create a bluish Moon, dust or ash particles must be larger than about 0.6 micron, which scatters the red light and allows the blue light to pass through freely. Having said all of that, what we call a Blue Moon typically appears pale grey, white or a yellowish color – just like the Moon on any other night.
Generally, Blue Moons occur every 2 to 3 years. Our last Blue Moon was on October 31, 2020 – the night of Halloween. Mars was red and very large, since it was closer to Earth, and it was seen in the sky near the Blue Moon. Coincidently, this year’s Blue Moon will appear near planets again, but this time Jupiter and Saturn! We won’t see another Blue Moon until August 2023.
So it’s not really blue?
Apparently not as the article explained
“rulo of thumb” refers to thr legal thickness of the stick you hit yourwife with before it becomes battery. The moreyou know…
This sentence is horrible and dosn’t even make any reference to the article. This guy’s a idiot just wanting to let out his interest in beating his wife.
Not true. The phrase is literally in the article. Maybe the person is expressing how gross it is that this phrase still persists
Sounds like you’re projecting your own frustration with your domestic abuse addiction, capt angry.
How large a stick is permissible to beat random internet trolls with?
The misunderstood ‘rule of thumb’ Misconception: Many feminists for years thought the phrase “rule of thumb” referred to British common law’s tolerance of wife-beating.
Interesting! I love astronomy 🔭 🪐 send me all the science articles! Science 🧪🧫🧬 Articles!
Science Rules !!!
Like everything else it’s something made up
It was red tonight in Fresno from the smoke of the forest fires in California. If I believed in omens this would be a bad one for our poor state.
This didn’t happen. The moon is just really bright.
The term “blue moon” is not to be taken literally. As the article explained already, the moon appears normal in color and does not appear blue. The term “blue moon” refers to the fact that a month has two full moons, which normally doesn’t occur, or that a season has four full moons, which normally doesn’t occur. It has NOTHING to do with the color, again as the article already explained.
Apparently not since the article just explained it….
The first full moon is called a strawberry moon, because that’s usually the time strawberries are ripe and ready, yet nobody expects the moon to be made of strawberries that night.
The full moon of most months have some sort of name they are given. But they’re just full moons, nothing special.
Even the so called “super moons” that appear bigger are the exact same size as a full moon on any other night. The full moon is ALWAYS the size of a round Tylenol, even though it appears very large when it’s close to the horizon and tiny when it’s up above your head. It’s all an optical illusion. That large impressive moon you see hanging over the city skyline is exactly the same size as it is when it’s up between the clouds.
You can test it yourself if you don’t believe me
saw it last night, was yellow-orange
saw it last night, was yellow-orange here in Ohio
Did no one catch the part about blue moons appearing blue and hue and general correlation with natural catastrophe such as volcanoes. Go back and read the article one more time make sure the natural catastrophe such as volcanoes part registered correctly.. how you feel about that? Ms.S
Blue moons appearing blue are caused by water droplets I the air occuring when a natural catastrophe such as volcanic eruption arises?Am I the only one to comment on that tid bit of information? THAT PART RIGHT THERE. REDD ON THE HEAD……. S
I saw moon last night on 22nd and at No point was it ever blue not even slightest bit…was outside mowing my 2 acre yard…no blue moon folks
I wish people would read before they comment 🙄
Stop picking on the blue earths moon
I think it would have been great if I had been informed before today about the ‘blue moon’happening last night. Yet here I am, opening Google to do a search and here’s a news title about the moon on Google news. That really irks me but oh well… I forgot what I was going to ask Google now…
Moon was not blue at all, but it so bright it lights up ✨ my whole neighborhood. So beautiful!
Ever get the idea that some kids read the catch tag, then comment without actually reading it? They’re going to do so well in university with peer reviewed articles.
I agree with previous comment. This would’ve been great if google had bothered to pull it up before today. Like maybe when I searched MOON last night to see if it would be full. Nevertheless, I did see the moon rising last night. It was as beautiful as ever.
You people are all wrong.
Everybody knows the moon is made of cheese.
Neil Armstrong proved that in ’69
Wow! It’s extremely hilarious to read all your comments and to see so many reference back to the article and yet only one person is even close to being right… And they didn’t even mention the snipet from the article that supports their comment.
Dat boi is correct… Each moon had a name given to it to help the people, way back before electric technology, know where they were in that growing / harvesting season. AS THE ARTICLE SAYS “it represented the catching [or harvesting] of the blue sturgeon”.
Yes, there are RARE events that may give it a blue hue and yes RARE occurances of it appearing twice in a month or being the third full moon in an astronomical season having 4 full moons. If you notice the usage of the word RARE, hence the name BLUE MOON.
I actually thought it was a good article, but listen to all the know it all people….. Always have negative things to say or happen to be an expert about any post on social media.
Full moons bring on many aspects of increased activity and extremes of temperament: often
with heightened displays of passion
This is simply stupid. There is nothing special about this full moon. It is an artifact of our calendar months not being exactly the length of a lunar cycle, and our seasons not lasting an integral multiple of those lunar cycles. If you ran outside to see the special Blue Moon, what you saw was a full moon like any other.
The purpose of the article was to get you to click on the ads.
Last night it was blue as the water. So cool. Thanks blue moon people.
Tonight? Wasn’t it supposed to be yesterday?
It was yellow orange ish then really bright in Las Vegas. Like always. But the fires made it red for a few nights tho
It astounds me how people can read an article and still not comprehend what it says. Moon is NOT blue in color!
Blue moon and blue bahls😁
A commonly heard alternative, however, states the ‘rule of thumb’ was the creation of 18th-century English judge, Sir Francis Buller. He ruled (supposedly) that a man is legally permitted to beat his wife, provided he uses a stick no thicker than his thumb.
I can’t wait to see it💖 beautiful blue is my favorite color
Yes, I would have loved to have seen it also. Unfortunately it was last night, not tonight. Why they publish this after the fact is beyond me
It’s a piece of cheese up there. Oh boy! Tonight it’s Bluecheese. STILL CHEESE
Well…As we say here in South,Ga.Nasville,Ga.to be exact,,,,Once in A BLUE MOON!!!!
The moon sometimes gives us a mirror image of the earth it’s rare but it does happen .
Wouldn’t it be nice if these articles were published before the fact? It doesn’t do much good to tell people what to look for after the fact now does it?
Hey Crazies, rule-of-thumb is a perfectly acceptable and useful phrase. Whatever fake origin story you attach to it is irrelevant. Now please go make a new home on another planet
rule of thumb:
a broadly accurate guiderule or principle, based on experience or practice rather than theory.
I have seen the moon with a blue color, one time. It does really happen.
Calling a random calendar coincidence by the name of a totally other phenomenon is just wrong, and very confusing. Please, everyone, stop doing it.
Look – the length of a lunar month is about 28 days. There are times when there are going to be two full moons in a 31-day calendar month. It’s not a big deal. Most of us can’t tell when the moon is exactly full, and our calendars are pretty much arbitrary.
Naming full moons is just bonkers. The start of the cycle is not fixed to the calendar or to the equinoxes.
Using Native names is cultural appropriation, and kind of insulting.
Very interesting. I never knew that blue moon’s were so common.
I live in central missouri and the moon looked as white as a bright light!!!
The article states that the Blue Moon isn’t actually blue it’s a filter..
Everyone needs to learn how to spell everyone “rule and the” and John “doesn’t”, just saying don’t judge.
I would like to know where that guy buys his Tylenol.
It was bright,but not the blue cheese dressing is not blue as well.
Once a blue moon my wife lets me stick my thumb up her arse, this is the rule of thumb!
I see blue moons everyday for a couple weeks a month, and yes they really are blue if you see them in the day.