Blue Moon: Where to See It and What is a Blue Moon

If you promise people that you only do things "once in a blue moon" then today is the day to make good on that promise. Tonight, as the moon rises in the sky, we will be privy to what is called a blue moon -- we won't get the next one until July 2015. 

Sadly a blue moon is not actually blue, and instead looks very similar to a normal full moon; that said, on rare occasions (often in conjunction with volcanic eruptions and forest fires) the moon can appear blue. By definition a blue moon is the second full moon to rise in one calendar month. We had a full moon on Aug. 1 and we now have one again on Aug. 31. 

Today's full moon officially occurred at 9:58 am, but you won't be able to really check it out until this evening. Tonight the moon will rise in the eastern sky at 6:30pm, so start your moon viewing then. In addition to referring to the second full moon in a month, a blue moon can also refer to the third full moon in a season with four full moons. A typical season only has three moons. 

In pop culture, blue moons have long been used as a way to mourn lost love. Crooner Elvis Presley made the song "Blue Moon" a global hit back in 1956. 


If you have caught the blue moon bug, Slooh.com will show live video from telescopes around the world starting at 6 pm EST on Friday. 

A very user friendly (and incredibly interesting!) blue moon explanation can be found here: 


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Elena Sheppard

Elena is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Mic. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Time Out New York, The New York Times Upfront, ABC News, and various travel publications. She is also a Princeton alum, a former Thailand resident, and a Brooklyn native.

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