Blue Moon New Year's Eve: A blue moon welcomes the New Year 2010

Cheryl Phillips's picture

When we hear someone say, "Once in a Blue Moon" it usually means that event doesn't happen often. This year, as we celebrate New Year's Eve and the ringing in of 2010, there will be a blue moon. A real blue moon occurs whenever two full Moons appear in a single month and this happens on average every 2 1/2 to 3 years.

The expression, "Once in a Blue Moon" was first noted back in 1821 and refers to occurrences that are uncommon, though not truly rare. The origin of the term "blue moon" is has plenty of folklore associated with it and its meaning has changed over time.

Some folktales say that when there is a full blue moon, the moon had a face and talked to those in its light. Perhaps celebrating a blue moon on New Years Eve 2010 will bring some great new folktales to hand down to future generations.

Is the moon really blue?

The most literal meaning of blue moon is when the moon appears to a casual observer to be unusually bluish, which is a rare event. The effect can sometimes be caused by smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere.

A Big New Year's Eve: A Blue Moon and a Partial Eclipse

Not only will there be a blue moon on New Year's Eve, but there will also be a partial eclipse of the moon on December 31, 2009. Because of its timing, it will not be visible in North and South America, but will be visible over most of Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Learn more about the Blue Moon on the NASA website.

Enjoy the Blue Moon on New Year's Eve and Happy 2010.

Written by Cheryl Phillips

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