Blue Moon Science Fridays Full Moon Explained

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With a so-called “blue moon” set to rise in the night sky this Friday (Aug. 31), you may find yourself wondering: Just what is a blue moon, exactly? And where does the term come from?
Somewhat confusingly, the answers have nothing to do with the moon’s color. The “blue moon” tale is a convoluted one, with much of the action taking place in the relatively recent past.
In 1946, “Sky and Telescope” magazine traced the term to the “Maine Farmer’s Almanac,” where it apparently referred to the third full moon in a season that contains four full moons instead of the usual three.The year is divided into four equal seasons, each 91 or 92 days long. Because there are 29.5 days between full moons, four full moons occasionally get squeezed into a single season.But the author of the “Sky and Telescope” article misintrepeted this complicated definition, declaring that a “blue moon” is actually the second full moon in a month with two full moons.

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