Blue Moon Month, August Sees 2 Full Moons

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By Emma Koonse, Christian Post Reporter
August 2, 2012|9:46 am

August has been deemed Blue Moon Month because it will see not one, but two full moons by its last day.

A blue moon is referred to as being the second of two full moons within any given month, according to some almanacs and calendars. Hence, the phrase "once in a blue moon" indicating the rarity of an event, began in 1824.

While blue moons are rare, they can be predicted to occur every three years or so. The name comes from the colors the moon takes on from time to time due to different conditions.

The first full moon this month occurred Wednesday, Aug. 1, but stargazers can enjoy the next one on Aug. 31.

After volcanic activity or forest fires, the moon can appear to take on a bluish or sometimes lavender coloration. This is because of the soot and ash particles deposited high up into the Earth's atmosphere.

Moreover, smoke from a large wildfire created a blue moon across eastern North America in late September 1950, according to CBS News.

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Sky-loving Twitter users sounded off about their excitement over Blue Moon Month on the social media site Thursday.

"It's the blue moon," wrote Twitter user Princess Luna. "Every two and a half years it is possible to have two full moons in a month. It's a special time."

"Enjoy it," advised Michael. "You get two full moons this month."

"DId you know it's blue moon month," asked Lizzy. "Next one isn't until July 2015. #fullmoon"

2012 has been an exciting year for sky watchers, as May saw a Supermoon where the full moon appeared larger due to its closeness to the earth.

At the same time that they May 5 moon reached its peak fullness, it's perigee occurred- meaning the moon reached its closest point to Earth in orbit. The combination made for the moon's appearance to be especially pronounced.

During its perigee, the moon lies only 221,802 kilometers from the Earth along its orbit. In late May, the moon reached its apogee- the farthest point from the Earth, at 252,555 miles away.

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