Sky Gazers, Get Ready to Watch the ‘Blue Moon!’

All you sky gazers, get ready to witness another exciting phenomenon – Blue moon. On Saturday, October 31, 2020, a Blue Moon will shine bright and white in the night sky! This “Blue Moon”, which is October’s second Full Moon will be visible to almost all the countries across the globe.

Here is all that you need to know —

What Is a Blue Moon?

The second full moon in a calendar month with two full moons is named as “Blue Moon.” For the record, the name has no relation with the colour of the moon. Rather, it is only a term used to define the second Full Moon in a calendar month.

The term Blue Moon is derived from the popular phrase ‘once in a blue moon’ is attributed to this phenomenon because of its rare occurrence.

How Rare Is a Blue Moon?

Time between two successive Full Moons is approximately 29.5 days, which is shorter than a month (except February). Therefore, to have two full moons in a month — the first full moon should be visible on the 1st or 2nd day of the month.

The probability of occurrence of a Blue moon is more for months with 31 days than for months with 30 days. It is also not possible to have a blue moon in February as it has 28 days, and 29 days during a leap year.

For months with 31 days Blue moon occurs once in 2 to 3 years. Last such Blue moon occurred in 2018 and the next one will be visible in August 2023.

Interestingly this time, the Blue moon is coinciding with Halloween day. The last Halloween full moon was visible was in 1944, during World War 2.

When will it be visible in India?

The Blue moon, a fairly infrequent phenomenon will occur on October 31 at 8.19 pm.

(Information from Dr Subhendu Pattnaik, Deputy Director, Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar)

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