A rare blue moon should shine in the night sky this weekend – but don’t be surprised by the name.
This amazing phenomenon only occurs once every three years – but Americans may spot one tonight.
People living in the United States will be able to see a full blue moon overnight, which peaks in the sky around 1:04 a.m. ET, according to NASA.
It will reach its peak illumination around 8:02 am on Sunday morning.
But there’s a catch, because – despite the name – blue moons like these aren’t actually blue.
The confusion is due to the fact that the term comes from “blewe,” the Old English word for “traitor.”
But — on rare occasions — a full blue moon will appear blue when “volcanic eruptions or wildfires send a lot of smoke and fine dust into the atmosphere,” according to it. Sky and telescope.
In recent years, the term blue moon has come to refer to the second full moon in one month, but the phenomenon of the night sky would conform to the original definition of the term – the third full moon of a season containing four full moons. of the usual three.
“As the third full moon in a season with four full moons, it will be a blue moon by the old definition,” a note on NASA’s website said.
The first recorded use of “blue moon” in English dates back to 1528.
“Since the 1940s, the term ‘blue moon’ has also been used for the second full moon in a month that has two full moons.”
The next blue moon won’t light up in the sky until 2024, when it only happens once every 2.7 years on average.
The blue moon this weekend will also be called the Sturgeon Moon.
Sturgeon moon is a common name for the August full moon, as North American fishing tribes will see a lot of sturgeon appearing at this time of year.
“Unapologetic pop culture trailblazer. Freelance troublemaker. Food guru. Alcohol fanatic. Gamer. Explorer. Thinker.”