Halloween this year will definitely be an interesting one. People have a new factor to fear in 2020 as the world grasps to get a handle on COVID-19. However, there will be something to smile about as the rare blue moon rises.
Of course, the moon will not actually look blue unless there are smoke and dust particles present. These particles must reach a certain size in order to catch and scatter red light, causing the moon to take on a bluish hue.
They call it a blue moon due to this being the second full moon to occur during the same calendar month. Most recently, people have been using this term to describe the third of four full moons to occur during a single season. On August 22, 2021, there will be a seasonal blue moon.
Having a full moon on Halloween is a rarity all in itself. This only occurs every 18 to 19 years, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. They further stated that the second full moon of the month is actually called a hunter’s blue moon.
The moon will rise at 10:49 a.m. (EST) and will be visible across all time zones. According to Celtic traditions, spirits of the dead wander around in the moonlight on Halloween.
Most people know when someone says “once in a blue moon,” they are talking about something that rarely happens. People have been using it to refer to the second full moon in a month since the 1940s. This generally only happens every two and a half years.
Written by Sheena Robertson
NASA Science: Supermoon, Blood Moon, Blue Moon and Harvest Moon
EarthSky: When is the next Blue Moon?; Bruce McClure and Deborah Byrd
New York Post: Rare blue moon will spookily rise on Halloween 2020 — here’s what it means; Lauren Steussy
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of David Yu’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License