Super Blue Blood Moon
Today we are witnessing the Super Blue Blood Moon, the rare cosmic event. There are many mystifications regarding cosmic phenomena and especially about those phenomena related to the Moon. As a result of that, every full Moon has to mean something special and extraordinary. However, very often, it is just another full Moon, which happens every 28-29 days and it is certainly not the rare event. But, what is that so special about this Super Blue Blood Moon? If you still wondering what does Super, Blue and Blood mean when it came to the Moon, here is the short explanation.
The Blue Moon (modern interpretation)- Every second full Moon which occurs within the single month is called Blue Moon. The Moon's cycle is roughly 28-29 days so secound full Moon in the same month happens only when there is a full Moon at the beginning of the month, usually 1st or 2nd day of the month. Only then the second full Moon can take a place during the same month, roughly between 29th and 31st day of the month. The second one is called Blue Moon. Sometimes, there could be two Blue Moons in the same year and in some years there is none. This year, there will be the second Blue Moon very soon - on March 31st.
2018: Full Moon on January 2nd and the second full Moon - Blue Moon on January 31st, only in time zones west of UTC+11. 2018: Full Moon on March 2nd and the second full Moon - Blue Moon on 31st, only in time zones west of UTC+12.
The next time we will be able to witness the Blue Moon is in October 2020.
2020: Full Moon on October 1st and the second full Moon - Blue Moon on October 31st, only in time zones west of UTC+10.
The traditional interpretation of Blue Moon - Blue Moon is the 3rd of four full Moons within the same season. One season usually has three full Moons so on the year level there are twelve full Moons. Every two to three years, there is one full Moon more, so that year has thirteen full Moons. It implicates that one season of that year has four full Moons instead of regular three. The third Full Moon in the season of four full Moons is called Blue Moon. In traditional interpretation, the Blue Moon has nothing with being the second full moon in the single solar calendar month.
Seasonal (traditional) Blue Moons in recent past and near future:
- 2016: May 21st
- 2019: May 18th
- 2021: August 22nd
The real blue Moon - there is also the third interpretation for the Blue Moon related to its color when the Moon really appears to be bluish. It happens due to various atmospheric reasons and has nothing with two previous interpretation in common. In this case, the term Blue Moon is only related to its color. We can't predict when the Moon is going to have bluish shade as we can calculate when will there be two full moons in the single solar calendar month or thirteen full Moons in the single calendar year in which case one season will have four full Moons.
The truth is that the Moon may get bluish anytime but it doesn't happen often and is unpredictable. So the Moon can be blue in color during the calendar (modern) Blue Moon event and also during the seasonal (traditional) Blue Moon event, but it is not the rule, it is just the coincidence and it is rare.
Blood Moon (total lunar eclipse) - If the Moon gets reddish shade during the lunar eclipse it is called Blood Moon. Not every eclipsed Moon is reddish, thus not 'bloody'. During the Total lunar eclipse, the Moon is usually reddish and it is called Blood Moon. There are at least two lunar eclipses every year. The maximum number of the lunar eclipses in the single year is five. But total lunar eclipses are quite less common events. Lunar eclipses (including total lunar eclipses) can also be calculated and they are predictable.
Blood Moon (Hunter's Moon/ October full Moon) - Hunter's Moon, which is the traditional and folklore name in some traditions for the full Moon that occurs in October, is sometimes called Blood Moon or Sanguine Moon.
Blood Moon, as well as the Blue Moon, is not the scientific term. However, the Blood Moon is more often related to the shades and color of the Moon than it is the case with the Blue Moon, which is rarely really blue in color and it is unpredictable when it will be bluish.
Supermoon - this is the term for a full moon or a new moon that is the closest to the Earth, considering the Moon's elliptic orbit. In these times, the Moon visually appears a bit larger than usual from our perspective from the earth. The term Supermoon is not astronomical in origin, but astrological. The scientific term for Supermoon is full or new Moon at perigee. However, when we commonly speak about Supermoon, we rarely consider the fact that the New Moon can also be a Supermoon. The Supermoon is usually referred to the full Supermoon or full Moon at perigee.
Beside Supermoon, there is also the opposite phenomenon when the full or new Moon is the farthest from the Earth on its elliptical orbit. This is scientifically called apogee syzygy or Micromoon. Yet, it is rear that someone mentions micromoon. In general, the event of the Moon at syzygy is not so widely popular as Supermoon.