Monday, July 02, 2007


Below is a photograph of the blue moon on 30th June, 2007 in Australia.

But is it really an authentic blue moon?

Well I have just done the research for this question.

You have to love Wikipedia and Google search. I do.

Whenever I want to know everything about anything I log into these websites.

They are so much more user friendly than the traditional encyclopaedias.

So I logged in to Wikipedia this morning because I wanted to find out a little more about the occurrences of blue moons.

It seems that, by referring to this second full moon in one month as a blue moon, I am only partly correct.

Wikipedia told me that what we had in June was a calender blue moon based on the Gregorian calendar.

There is an older meaning of blue moon which makes it a rarer occasion, hence our popular saying, "Once in a blue moon."

In the 1800s, the Maine Farmer's Almanac's defined a blue moon as the third full moon in a quarter of the year when there were four full moons rather than the usual three full moons.

Furthermore, their definition divided the year into quarters with the dividing line set between March 21 and March 22. This related to the rule for setting the date for the Christian Holy Day of Easter, which depends on the last full moon on or before the Equinox.

Okay, now my brain is hurting a tad as I am struggling to understand all that but what I do understand is that this original meaning was lost for a while after the editors of the original Farmer's Almanac died.

Of course the term has also been used when referring to the actual colour of the moon where it appears bluish due to atmospheric events such as smoke or dust particles.

Whatever the correct definition, there is nothing as mesmerising as a full moon no matter what the colour.

Wikipedia has told me that the next blue moon will be in May, 2008. And it will be one of those rarer blue moons.

So I will return with another photograph in about 10 months.


Anonymous said...

Lovely photo Michelle - Nelma

Anonymous said...

Blue moon, you left me standing alone......
Ah, yes, sad things, blue moons.