Blue Moon 2018: What time is the blue moon TONIGHT? How to watch full moon rise | Science | News

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The second blue moon of the year will grace our skies this weekend in a stunning celestial event, that will occur as February did not have a full moon.

The moon will appear at its fullest at around 1.37am GMT on Saturday, March 31 – tonight.

Blue Moons are defined as the second full moon to rise within one calendar month, in a phenomenon which only occurs roughly every 2.7 years.

Because a blue moon is quite rare, the lunar event helped to coin the saying “once in a blue moon”.

Full moons themselves are not rare, as they occur almost every 29 days, but a blue moon is a rare event.

And two blue moons in one year is an even more incredible event, with the last time Earth seeing two blue moons in one year being in 1999.

This event was dubbed “The Double Blue Moon of 1999” – and, like this year, also occured because there was no full moon in February.

A Blue Moon will now not be seen for some years, as the Easter 2018 Blue Moon will be the last to grace the night skies until Halloween in 2020.

How can I watch full moon?

If weather conditions are clear, the full moon should sit high on the sky for the naked eye to see clearly.

However, the best way to admire a full moon is by using a telescope and focusing on the boundary where light meets dark on the surface of the moon.

Binoculars will also allow you a better look.

Unfortunately for astronomy enthusiasts, the Blue Moon does not turn 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.”

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