Contact Us

What Is a Blue Moon and Where Did the Name Originate?

blue moon
hans s, flickr

On Tuesday (Aug. 20), a rare blue moon will appear in the night sky. Contrary to popular belief, the moon doesn’t actually appear blue. But what is a blue moon exactly?

There’s been some confusion over exactly what the definition of a blue moon is. The common and most accepted definition is that it’s the second full moon in a given month.

However, according to Sky & Telescope the term blue moon was originally used in the Maine Farmers’ almanac to describe an extra moon in a given season:

At last we have the “Maine rule” for Blue Moons: Seasonal Moon names are assigned near the spring equinox in accordance with the ecclesiastical rules for determining the dates of Easter and Lent. The beginnings of summer, fall, and winter are determined by the dynamical mean Sun. When a season contains four full Moons, the third is called a Blue Moon.

The Weather Channel will be showing off the moon’s unique appearance tonight. If you’re unable to step outside and enjoy it firsthand, you can check it out here.

Listen to 10 Renditions of the Classic Ballad, 'Blue Moon'

Best of 710 KEEL

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KEEL VIP Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KEEL VIP Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.