Is A Blue Moon Really Blue? Don't Start Singing Just Yet
The moon has beautifully been in the spotlight on and off for this first chunk of 2018, and astrologists and sky viewers are loving it. The Super Blue Blood Moon is sending our galactic curiosity soaring on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The name, which is a complete mouthful, likely had you stumped at first. Specifically, the "blue" part of it may have had you wondering, is a Blue Moon really blue?
It's a valid thought since lately the moon has done miraculous things that many of us have never seen before. And with the help of social media and the Internet in general, astrologers and scientists have conveniently been able to inform the public about these celestial events. Space stuff, for the win. Luckily, there are writers who can further break down that space jargon and decipher the happenings to people. One can definitely get lost in those super scientific convos.
While you're probably just happy you get to see some cool stuff in the sky, it doesn't hurt to get the lowdown about what is actually happening up there. This knowledge can also double as party trick if you're trying to impress your friends. It's safe to say that the moon embodies most, if not everything, that appears in its name when it gets incredibly jam-packed, like the upcoming Super Blue Blood Moon. The moon takes that whole "what's in a name" stuff to an entirely new level.
So, is a Blue Moon really blue?
If you have your "Blue Moon" track by Billie Holiday all set and ready for this celestial event, you wouldn't be totally wrong. Her voice could make stars fall from the sky just to get a better listen. Anyway, the moon isn't going to necessarily be blue as far as coloring is concerned. It'd be so, so cool if it was, though. In fact, the Blue Moon gets its name from being the second full moon to occur in the same month. A little disappointing, huh? I'm not sure how "blue" relates to being second, because medals usually go from gold to bronze, don't they?
The first full moon we had was on Jan. 1 and it was coined a Wolf Moon. This was partly because back in the day when people relied solely on nature to signal the changing seasons, howling wolves were increasingly heard during the month of January. The moon is quite the character, depending on what's going on with it and when it's happening. The Super Blue Blood Moon is a perfect example.
What's up with the name Super Blue Blood Moon?
Time, place, and what's actually occurring are all major factors that contribute to the name of the Super Blue Blood Moon. So, let's break it down. Visually, what you will actually be seeing is a total lunar eclipse. A total lunar eclipse is when the moon goes through the shadow of the Earth's. Boom, one part down.
Now, that "super" part of the name is because the full moon is technically a supermoon. The full moon will be at its closest point to Earth in its orbit, which is known as its perigee. This makes the moon look larger in the night sky. Again, we know the "blue" part is because it is the second full moon in the same month, but what about that "blood" part? Well, during a total lunar eclipse, the moon tends to show off a beautiful red hue. Red and blood, you get it? You should definitely get your camera ready for this sight, because the color show will surely be hauntingly beautiful in the sky.
It's not so confusing once you analyze it in parts, and actually, it's quite cool how the moon can take on an entirely new name based on its phases. Imagine if we were all named after the day, time, and events that were happening during our birth? Yeah, I get a headache even thinking about that.