Sunday, November 21, 2010

Full Moon of November 2010 - Another Blue Moon

In the Native American culture this evening’s full moon is known as the Beaver Moon. This indicates that it is time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation is that the name comes from the fact that the beavers are now active in their preparation for winter.

This moon has also been called Mourning Moon and the Hunters' Moon. With the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt. Since the fields have been reaped, hunters can ride over the stubble, and can more easily see the fox, also other animals, which have come out to glean and can be caught for a thanksgiving banquet after the harvest.

The full moon that you will see this evening looks like an ordinary full moon, but it is actually a bit extraordinary—it is also a blue moon.

What is a Blue Moon?

There are two definitions for a blue moon. According to modern folklore, a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. February is the only month that can never have a blue moon.

Here are the facts. Generally, there are only three full moons in any one season. Three in summer, three in autumn … you get the idea. So today’s full moon is a Blue Moon. It’s the third of the season’s four full moons.

Almanac makers like to give each full moon a name, depending on where the full moon falls relative to the year’s two equinoxes and two solstices. But when a single season presents four full moons, the extra full moon complicates the otherwise ordered nomenclature of full moons. It is easier for almanac makers to call the third – rather than the fourth – full moon a Blue Moon.

When you hear someone say "Once in a blue moon" you know that they are usually talking about something rare or unusual.

The term 'blue moon' dates back at least 400 years. Does the blue moon actually turn blue? No. Blue moons are rare, and that's where the phrase "once in a blue moon" comes from. There are occasions though when pollution in the Earth's atmosphere can make the moon look particularly bluish. The extra dust scatters blue light.

How Often Does a Blue Moon Occur? - Over the next 20 years there will be about 15 blue moons, with an almost equal number of both types of blue moons occurring. No blue moon of any kind will occur in the years 2011, 2014, and 2017.

Blue moon myths runs wild - Today’s Blue Moon definition comes from old editions of the Maine Farmer’s Almanac.

Ancient cultures around the world considered the second full moon to be spiritually significant.

Today’s November full moon is a Blue Moon. It isn’t blue in color. It’s only blue in name – at least, by one definition. Tonight’s moon is the third of four full moons in a season.

Just relax and enjoy. Watch as this November Blue Moon – the third of the season’s four full moons – shines boldly from dusk until dawn!

Yes. Tonight’s November full moon is a Blue Moon. It isn’t blue in color. It’s only blue in name – at least, by one definition.

So, heads up - enjoy this gift of Mother Nature tonight.


1 comment:

Kittie Howard said...

Thank you, PJ, for a most informative post. Also romantic. Hub and I went outside, and, yes, it's a beautiful blue moon, just like your photo. It was sooo nice standing there, all snuggled, looking at this beauty. (Yep, I had to hum the song a bit!)

Hub also read your post (and thanks you)...great history, loved the myths. Thanks for adding to our Sunday evening! And a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!