Another month that we're blessed with a "Blue Moon" as it's known, on the 31st. So many stories, legends and even scientific postures have given us this moniker for Luna Maria. Here's what we know:
Every month that contains two FULL moons, (rather than full and new) is a blue-moon month by way of the second one. Back in 1999 a very unusual pattern of lunar phases occurred. TWO FULL MOONS, each in January and March - none at all in February - triggered a groundswell of public interest in our satellite friend. Every opinion, theory and research involving blue moons came to the fore. But the truth is, we're really still not quite sure.
However, we CAN trace the calendrical meaning of "blue moon" back to the 1937 Maine Farmer's Almanac, but a page seems not to support the "two full moons in a month" theory. And there's others. But what's the difference? Science seeks the cause, we reap the effect, and alot of people are red-faced and apologetic.
For the record, all of our Blue Moons have a strong connection to the seasons. They all occur on the 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd day of November, February, May or August. Here's the clue: these dates fall a month before the Northern SUMMER and WINTER EQUINOXES, respectively. How could that possibly happen on its own? No coincidence, this. There's a seasonal connection.
Years change, calendars change, seasons certainly change. But our Luna will never change - although she now wears alot of boot-prints on her lovely gray head, a few flags and a bunch of stray golf balls. Humans will never stop reaching out, and thank You, God, for that.
Facts courtesy of Sky & Telescope, Skywatcher Magazine. Sentimentality always courtesy of moonstruck author.