Thursday, May 31, 2007

Happy Blue Moon, or Not, or...

Sky and Telescope Magazine is Not the Boss of Me!

(special thanks to Wikipedia for providing most of the info for this post)


Really though. Today is a Blue Moon. Enjoy it...if you are in the Western Hemisphere. Moody, Pandabonium and a couple billion of their closest friends will need to wait until June 30th for their Blue Moon.

A Blue Moon is the second full moon in one month. It doesn't happen very often and won't happen again for a little over 2 years.

However, it seems as though the term Blue Moon has a history that we are supposed to worry about now.

According to Wikipedia,

The older meaning of blue moon to name an extra full moon, as was used in the Maine Farmer's Almanac...


In 1948, Sky and Telescope reported this as meaning two full moons in one calendar month. This was reinforced by the radio program Star Date and this is what is now the current usage and meaning of the term.

BUT WAIT!

Sky and Telescope recently posted a funny retraction here;

The trendy definition of "blue Moon" as the second full Moon in a month is a mistake.


Trendy, eh? And WHO made it trendy, eh? Well, it was Sky and Telescope. Nonetheless, we find the original definition is most likely (from Sky and Telescope's SkyTonight.com)

At last we have the "Maine rule" for Blue Moons: Seasonal Moon names are assigned near the spring equinox in accordance with the ecclesiastical rules for determining the dates of Easter and Lent. The beginnings of summer, fall, and winter are determined by the dynamical mean Sun. When a season contains four full Moons, the third is called a Blue Moon.


Wow, what an exciting definition! The 3rd full moon in a 4 full moon quarter. Given that the moon is not guaranteed to be Blue or in any way tied to ancient religions that we can readily determine, I am going to stick with TODAY as a Blue Moon. (or June 30 for my few billion pals on the other side of the planet)

Whew!

So Happy Blue Moon to you.

14 comments:

Pa've said...

Moody's RAV4 is blue, I wonder if it was made on the day of a blue moon?

The Colorman said...

At least it's not GREEEEEEEN!

Pandabonium said...

Well I'll be a blue nosed gofer.

Momo the Wonder Dog said...

I thought that the moon was made of GREEN cheese?

The Moody Minstrel said...

And in other news, according to Ray Bradbury himself, Fahrenheit 451 is NOT about government censorship...

Dean Wormer said...

First you call for civility in our discourse then you biatch-slap Sky and Telescope magazine.

Hypocrite.

:-)

Pandabonium said...

My sister sent me this breathtaking picture: Moon from an airplane!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Is that Mitchell using the moon to navigate?

Pandabonium said...

Close, I believe it's a Douglas A-26 Invader.

The Moody Minstrel said...

By George, you're right. Single tailfin, nacelles longer in front than in back...my bad.

My A-26 model had a longer, narrower nose. That's what threw me.

Hill said...

And a happy Blue Moon to you, too!

Swinebread said...

man, I thought I posted to this...? I guess I forgot to press 'publish'

Pandabonium said...

Moody - that plexiglass nose threw me too. Funny, but when my sister sent that I was more interested in identifying the airplane that in the joke.

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