Rare ‘Blue Moon’ to be visible on 31st July, dont miss this celestial masterpiece
Occurrence of two full moon days in the same calendar month is a very rare occasion and the second full moon of the month is termed as “Blue Moon” which we can witness this Friday.
Occurrence of a ‘Blue Moon’ is a very rare occasion and it does happen “once in a blue moon” and we have not seen it since August 2012.
However, if you have nothing on your hands this Friday then do make a point to just go out or watch out from your window to catch this rare celestial event.
As per the lunar cycle every month there is one full moon and one no moon day. Now, since the calendar year and lunar cycles are not synced with each other, we come across two full moon days in one calendar month, once in every three years.
As per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the phenomenon occurs only once every three years.
This month, on 2nd July it was a Full moon day and now again on 31st July it is a Full moon day, which means the second Full moon day in a calendar month, this occurrence of second full moon in a single month is termed as “Blue Moon”.
Now, the term “blue moon” does not indicate the moon will appear “Blue”, in fact it could appear grayish or silver and is just like any other full moon. It is also a fact that the moon might appear reddish or orange due to the smoke and unusual atmospheric conditions and thus could take a bluish hue.
For instance, way back in 1883, when the volcano Krakatoa erupted in Indonesia, the moon actually appeared in a cerulean tinge or deep bluish tinge for years and scientists believe it was due to the drastic atmospheric conditions that resulted due to the massive volcanic eruption.
Thus, according to NASA’s National Space Science Data Center, the phrase “once in a blue moon” definitely means something very unusual which we rarely get to see in a lifetime.
It was in September 1950, when astronomer Robert Wilson of the Royal Observatory observed a blue moon in Edinburgh, Scotland. The moon was really appearing blue due to a patch of clouds that had some smoke and ash particles as a result of the forest fires burning in Alberta, Canada. It seems these smoke particles drifted across the Atlantic Ocean and hovered over Scotland during the lunar event thus creating the rare spectacle as per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
As per Earth Sky, an online astronomy site, on Friday the 31st, sky-watchers will be getting an additional bonus of the Delta Aquarid meteor shower as well. However, Earth Sky also reports that the faint Delta Aquarid meteors will be impacted by the full moon at the shower’s peak. It is also expected that the showers will produce about 15-20 meteors per hour. The reports also say that the actual peak is around July 27-30.
NASA says, the meteor showers seems to be appearing from ‘Delta Aquarii’, one of the brightest stars in the constellation Aquarius, thus it gets it name ‘Delta Aquarid’.
According to the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, when an astronomical season has four full moons, the third one is termed a blue moon.
No doubt the celestial event would be witnessed by the amateur and professional photographers who would be snapping and sharing these rare photographs of pristine moon against the dark sky along with the meteor showers on the social media.
This event will occur again only in January 2018. So for all readers do not forget to look at the sky tomorrow night and witness this rare celestial masterpiece of “blue moon”.