Blue Moon 2018: When is the next full moon? Is there one in February? | Science | News

Unfortunately for those observed ’s incredible “Supermoon Trilogy” between December 3 and January 31, February will not give rise to another full moon.

Instead, this month will give birth to a dark, new moon on Thursday February 15. During this lunar phase, the Moon is too close to the Sun in the sky to be visible.

But a second blue moon of the year is just around the corner.

A full moon typically rises every 29.5 days, and on those magical nights when the conditions are just right, a second full moon will rise in one calendar month. This is known as a blue moon.

Because February is only 28 days long this year, the third full moon of the new year will rise on Friday March 2.

In traditional folklore the March full moon is known as the sap moon, crow moon or lenten moon, though it is most commonly referred to as the worm moon.

Shortly after, the March full moon will be followed by the second blue moon of the year on Saturday March 3 – the pink moon.

Royal Observatory Greenwich said blue moons typically only happen once about every two to three years.

A double-billed blue moon spectacle like this has also not happened since 1999 and will not repeat itself until 2037. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some.

EarthSky astronomer Bruce McClure said: “The next year of double monthly blue moons is coming up in January and March, 2018 – and then, after that, in January and March, 2037.

“Very rarely, a monthly Blue Moon (second of two full moons in one calendar month) and a seasonal Blue Moon (third of four full moons in one season) can occur in the same calendar year.

“But for this to happen, you need 13 full moons in one calendar year AND 13 full moons in between successive December solstices.

“This will next happen in the year 2048, when a monthly Blue Moon falls on January 31, and a seasonal Blue Moon on August 23.”

The next single blue moon will rise on October 31 2020, followed by an August 31 2023 blue moon and another one on May 31 2026 and December 31 2028.

Skywatchers were treated to a breathtaking total lunar eclipse on Wednesday, and there is another one in the pipelines for January 21 2019.

The January 21 eclipse will also coincide with a supermoon event, when a full moon approaches its point of perigee – its closest orbital distance to Earth.

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