What’s so rare about the moon? Well, nothing I guess. Well, nothing when you put every other miracle of nature in the same class of familiarity. But tonight’s full moon is rare because it is the 2nd full moon this month.
Usually we only have one a month. But when you have a month that is longer than the 27 and a half day cycle of the moon, and the first full moon in the month is early enough, and this month’s first full moon was on the 2nd, then you have enough time for the moon to cycle through and have another full episode before the month is over. And that will happen again tonight.
I don’t know where the term blue moon came from for these episodes. Because the moon doesn’t turn blue. But it gave rise to the saying about something being as rare as a blue moon. They don’t happen all that often. The last blue moon we had was in August of 2012. They happen about every three years. The next one will be a real rarity. In 2018 both January and March will have two full moons in the calendar month, and poor February of that year will have none.
But the moon is with us all the time. It’s something to look forward to after sunset, although sunsets can be pretty spectacular in themselves. And occasionally the moon gets involved with sunset, like in this partial eclipse I shot right at sunset from a church parking lot in Flowood a few years ago. But after the sun goes down the moon friendlys up the night sky; Making places you’d never be caught dead at night seem inviting, but still a little spooky,
That’s also what night is for, to give us something to survive every 24 hours.
Familiar places take on a new familiarity when the moon does a photo bomb. And unfamiliar places are less sinister because you have an old friend with you to take the edge off.
So although the moon is there all the time, sometimes full like it will be tonight, sometimes just grinning at you from up above like it knows something you don’t, tonight’s moon will be rare, not because of the moon but because of the calendar, being the 2nd full moon of the month.
So go out and see the moon and catch a little of the magic tonight for when you might need it later.
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