Yesterday on Friday 31 July there was a rare astronomical event close to home that many might not have noticed, a second full moon of the month.
They sky over London last night was generally clear and where I live in NW London was exceptional with few clouds.
I gazed up and saw a full moon. what was unusual is that it was the second full moon in a calendar month.
Second Full Moon of the Month
I took this photo of it at around 1 am (Saturday morning) from our back garden.
Normally there are 29.5 days between full moons and therefore a full moon once a month. Such moons are known as a ‘blue moon’
A blue moon is defined as the second full moon in a calendar month. We have a saying that a rare event or happening occurs ‘once in a blue moon.’
The next Blue Moon will be in May 2016.
Even rarer, are have two blue moons in a calendar year this last happened in 1999. There were two full moons in January and two full moons in March and no full moon in February. So both January and March had Blue Moons.
The full moon is given a name for each month of the year it appears.
January: the Wolf Moon, February: the Snow Moon, March: the Worm Moon, April: the Pink Moon, May: the Flower Moon, June: the Strawberry Moon, July: the Buck Moon, August: the Sturgeon Moon, September: the Harvest Moon, October: the Hunter’s Moon, November: the Beaver Moon, December: the Cold Moon.
More well-known here are the Harvest Moon in September as centuries ago, this full moon helped farmers gather their harvest in at night. The Hunter’s Moon appears brighter and larger, which aided hunters at night in fields and forests.
Enjoy gazing at our constant, closest, changeless, celestial neighbour 🙂