The moon does some strange things if you haven't noticed! And something very strange is happening this Saturday, April 4th! A so called, "Blood Moon", is to occur that will be the shortest of the century, these are very rare occurrences that are very interesting to examine.
The blood moon occurs only when the sun, moon and earth are lined up perfectly with the earth in the middle. The earth as it lines up with the sun casts a large shadow which then envelopes the moon as it passes into the earths shadow. As it does this the moon becomes darker and eventually a reddish hue. The moon is turning red for a certain reason because the atmosphere of the earth filters out the blue light of the sun leaving only the red light to shine on the moon giving it it's signature red moon color.
This blood moon occurrence happens to be a special one though, that is because usually a blood moon occurs twice a year, but when it occurs four times, like it will this year, it is known as a tetrad.
So if a blood moon is when the moon is blood red, a blue moon is when the moon is blue right? Surprisingly no! A blue moon has nothing to do with the color of the moon unlike the blood moon. So what is a blue moon? Well it is a confusing tail.
Originally the idea was traced to the "Maine Farmers's Almanac", which stated a blue moon was the third full moon in a season that contains four full moons instead of three which is a rare occurrence. But the idea was misinterpreted by another author who stated a blue moon is the second full moon in a month with two full moons, this was published and adopted as common knowledge.
Now when you're friends start talking about the lunar cycles at the lunch table you can contribute useful information into the conversation. Enjoy your Saturday night which I'm sure you'll spend doing something other than watching the moon!
Blue moon information from space.com
Picture from toonpool.com