Popular Science News | Once in a Blue Moon

Popular Science News – once in a blue moon is a term used to describe an event which doesn’t actually involve the moon turning blue. On Friday 31st August 2012 a full moon is set to appear in the sky for the second time in the month. Something which happens about seven times in 19 years, which is about once every two-and-a-half years.

“The moon takes about 29 and a half days to go around the earth, and get back to the same point,” says Astrophysicist Dr Stephen Hughes, “so in a month like this month [August] it’s just enough time.”

“We had a full moon on the 2nd of August, and we’ve got another one on [Friday] the 31st – so we’ve just squeezed in two in the month.”

Although the full moon on Friday night is unlikely to be blue, Dr Hughes says it has been known to happen.

“In some cases there really are blue moons due to dust particles suspended in the atmosphere, which are just the right size to scatter red and yellow light,” which he says causes the light from the moon to appear blue.

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