Bluemoon Wallpaper HD by jingle bells
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Generally, a full moon occurs only once a month. However, once every two or three years, two full moons will occur in a month. This occurrence is called a "blue moon". This usage results from a misinterpretation of the traditional definition of blue moon in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope. Due to the rarity of a blue moon, the term "blue moon" is used colloquially to mean a rare event, as in the phrase "once in a blue moon".
The apparent colour of the moon, at any time of the year, can be affected by atmospheric circumstances. Volcanic eruptions and exceptionally large fires can leave particles in the atmosphere which give the sky, and thus the moon, a tinge of blue (or other colours).
One lunation (an average lunar cycle) is 29.53 days. There are about 365.25 days in a solar year. Therefore, about 12.37 lunations (365.25 days divided by 29.53 days) occur in a solar year. In the widely used Gregorian calendar, there are 12 months (the word month is derived from moon) in a year, and normally there is one full moon each month. Each calendar year contains roughly 11 days more than the number of days in 12 lunar cycles. The extra days accumulate, so every two or three years (7 times in the 19-year Metonic cycle), there is an extra full moon. The extra moon necessarily falls in one of the four seasons, giving that season four full moons instead of the usual three, and, hence, a blue moon.
The term blue moon originates in deviations of the lunar calendar computed by the church, from the real moon. Different traditions place the extra "blue" full moon at different times:
The March 1946 Sky and Telescope article "Once in a Blue Moon" by James Hugh Pruett misinterpreted the 1937 Maine Farmers' Almanac. "Seven times in 19 years there were and still are 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon." Widespread adoption of the definition of a "blue moon" as the second full moon in a month followed its use on the popular radio program StarDate on January 31, 1980.
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