Full “Blue Moon” Rises Tonight

blue-full-moon-rises-tonight

There’s a “Blue Moon” in the sky tonight — but that doesn’t mean the lunar surface will turn indigo.

Tonight’s (July 31) moon will be a gorgeous sight, but it won’t look different than any other full moon. The term Blue Moon has come to refer to the second full moon in a given month (since full moons come around about every 29 days, most months only contain one). So set your sights skyward tonight, but don’t expect a change in the moon’s regular hue. NASA explained the July 31 Blue Moon in a video released earlier this week.

However, there are rare occasions when the moon can appear to turn blue. According to the Science@NASA blog, observers have reported the moon having a bluish tint following volcanic eruptions. These explosions send particulates (like ash and smoke) into the air that scatter red light, but let blue light through, creating a natural blue filter and giving the moon a sapphire complexion.

“Back in 1883, for example, people saw blue moons almost every night after the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa exploded with the force of a 100-megaton nuclear bomb,” according to the Science@NASA statement. “People also saw blue-colored moons in 1983 after the eruption of the El Chichón volcano in Mexico. And there are reports of blue moons caused by Mount St. Helens in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991.”

Particulates created by forest fires can also create a blue filter in the sky, according to NASA.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Space.com, Calla Cofield

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s