'Blue Moon’ eclipse on December 31:
Year 2009 is once in a “Blue Moon” with December having an extra
full moon on the last day of the month. The second full moon day of
the month also the last day of the year, will also have a partial
eclipse of the moon which will......
Before the year ends, sky gazers would have already witnessed the
rare phenomenon of two full moons in just one month, which is also
termed as “blue moon”.
watching the full moon on December 2nd this year, avid sky watchers
would witness the celestial phenomenon, also referred as “blue
moon”, for the second time on December 31, that is, on New Year’s
use the expression “once in a blue Moon” to mean something that
occurs rarely and many people might be tempted to call December
31st’s full Moon a “Blue Moon” too.
usage, the second full Moon in a month has come to be called a ‘Blue
Moon’, but it’s not!” said Kelly Beatty, Senior Contributing Editor
for SKY and TELESCOPE magazine.
colorful term is actually a calendrical goof that worked its way
into the pages of SKY and TELESCOPE back in March 1946, and it
spread to the world from there,” she added.
folklorist Philip Hiscock and Texas astronomer Donald W. Olson had
helped the magazine’s editors figure out how the mistake was made,
and how the two-full-Moons-in-a-month meaning spread into the
writer, amateur astronomer James Hugh Pruett made an incorrect
assumption about how the term had been used in the Maine Farmers’
Almanac - which consistently used “Blue Moon” to mean to the third
full Moon in a season that contained four of them, rather than the
definition, there is no Blue Moon in December 2009; instead, the
last one was in May 2008, and the next happens in November 2010.
But now, the
concept of a Blue Moon as the second full Moon in a month, as well
as it being the third full Moon in a season with four, are both
listed now as definitions in the American Heritage Dictionary
definition, Blue Moons happen about once every 2.7 years on average.
occurrence of two full Moons in one month was in May 2007 and the
next one will be in August 2012.
Due to the
wrong definition, people would believe that they have seen the “blue
moon” on December 31.
“wrong” definition is simpler and handier for most people to grasp
the English language shifts. You can’t beat back the tide,” said SKY
and TELESCOPE Senior Editor Alan MacRobert. “Not when the Moon is
pulling the tide,” he added.