MOONGAZERS will be dazzled by the delights of the rarest full moon of the year tonight, the Blue Moon.
Blue moons only occur once every 2.7 years and give rise to the term “once in a blue moon”.
There are typically three full moons each season, with a new full moon every 29.53 days, meaning there will sometimes be an additional full moon.
The incredible spectacle will not appear blue in the sky, however, but will be fully illuminated by the sun.
The skies should be mostly clear across the UK so everyone should have a good chance of spotting the rare phenomenon.
Why is it called Blue Moon or Sturgeon Moon?
Because this is the third of the four full moons of this season, it is known as the Blue Moon due to its rarity.
There are usually three moons per season and this event only occurs once every few years, hence the term “once in a blue moon”.
This full moon was known to early Native American tribes as the Sturgeon Moon, as large sturgeons from the Great Lakes and other large lakes were easier to catch at this time of year.
Some Native Americans alternately called it the Green Corn Moon and the Grain Moon.
When is it best to see it?
The sturgeon moon will be visible before sunset on Sunday August 22 and will naturally appear brighter as the night darkens.
All you need to see is a clear night sky, which the Met Office is currently predicting for most of the UK.
Why do full moons occur?
A full moon is when the moon appears as a complete circle in the sky, thanks to the sun’s rays lighting up the entire side of the moon that faces the Earth.
This makes the full face of the moon visible to the naked eye, as it does not produce any light on its own.
When is the next full moon?
The next full moon is the corn moon, also known as the harvest moon, which will fall on September 21 and takes its name from Native Americans because it indicated the right time to harvest corn.
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This notice was published: 2021-08-22 11:00:00