Blue Moon 2018: Saturday Blue Moon is last one until 2020 | Science | News

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The second blue moon of the year is expected to rise on Saturday, March 31 after the first one on January 31 was dubbed the “Super Blue Blood Moon”.

Blue moon’s are not blue, but it is the name given to the second full moon to happen in a single calendar month and are quite rare as the saying goes “once in a blue moon”.

However, full moons themselves are not rare, as they occur in almost every 29 days, but a blue moon is – especially two blue moons in one year. 

The last time Earth saw two blue moons in one year was in 1999 when February did not have a full moon. 

It was dubbed “The Double Blue Moon of 1999”.

The second blue moon of the year will happen again nineteen years later for the same reason as February did not have a full moon.

This year’s blue moon is important because it is also used to fix the date of Easter. The holiday always occurs on the Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring equinox, which was March 20.

As the blue moon will appear on March 31 it means that Easter Sunday is April 1.

The last full moon of this calendar year was on March 2 and was known as a Worm Moon.

A worm moon was named by Native Americans because it marked the point in the year when the temperatures started warming and earthworms would start to appear.

For moon-watching enthusiasts the blue moon will not be blue on Saturday and the Pink Moon, expected on April 30 will not be pink.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich explained: “There are two different definitions of a blue moon: in one there are two blue moons in 2018 whereas in the other, there aren’t any at all! In any case, these are fairly common events, happening once every two to three years.

“Despite what it sounds like, a blue moon has nothing to do with the colour of the Moon.

“Instead, it is all to do with the timing of full moons during the year.”

The next blue moon after this weekend is expected to occur on Halloween night in 2020.

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