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Rare Sight Only Happens Once In A ‘Blue Moon’

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Credit: Britt Bickel

Credit: Britt Bickel

Britt Bickel
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Not only is it a full moon tonight, but it also happens to be a ‘Blue Moon.’ What exactly is a Blue Moon? It doesn’t refer to the color of the moon, but the term given to a rare event when full moons occur four times in a season or twice in one month.

The latter definition applies to the month of August, where tonight, the second full moon of the month will shine in the sky. The first full moon happened on Aug. 1.

Blue Moons happen when calendar months don’t exactly line up with the moon’s orbit, so for months that are longer, the moon has more time to go through it’s cycle. It typically takes an average of 29.5 days for the moon to wax and wane from a new to full moon. The last Blue Moon occurred on Dec. 31, 2009.

The rare celestial event is what inspired the phrase “Once In A Blue Moon,” so look up to the night sky tonight to catch the last Blue Moon until 2015!

Even more fitting for tonight’s cosmic event, the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, is being laid to rest today. Memorials are also taking place around the country to remember his legacy, in addition to one request from Armstrong’s family to have the nation honor him, reports CBS News.

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink,” the family said in a statement.

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