ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Astronomy News: How Often Does a Blue Moon Occur?

Updated on July 13, 2013

A blue moon will occur this week on August 31, 2012. What is a blue moon, do you ask? Well, break out your astronomy books and let's take a look at this rare phenomenon and learn more about earth's nearest "friend", the moon!

Will the Moon Really be the Color Blue?

No, the moon will not actually be the color blue. There are actually two existing definitions of a Blue Moon:

An article “Once in a Blue Moon” by James Pruett published in the March 1946 Sky & Telescope magazine declared that the second full moon in a calendar month is called a Blue Moon. Since the period between two full moons is about 29 ½ days, this occurs somewhat rarely. This definition originated from a simplified definition of a Blue Moon from the Maine Farmer’s Almanac.

The actual definition of a Blue Moon in the 1937 Maine Farmer’s Almanac is actually quite different. A Blue Moon was defined as the third full moon of four in a season. Since one season (fall, winter, spring, and summer) typically has only 3 full moons, this is again a rare occurrence.

Since then, the term “once in a blue moon” has come to refer to something that occurs rarely or is almost impossible.

How did the term Blue Moon originate?

One theory for the origination of the term was from old English term “belewe” which means “to betray”.

How often do Blue Moons occur?

On average, a Blue Moon happens every 33 months (or every 2-3 years). February will never have a Blue Moon; months that have 31 days have a much better chance.

Can you have more than one Blue Moon in a year?

Yes, the last time this occurred was in 1999 and next one will be in 2018.

Can the moon ever look blue?

Actually this has occurred in the past primarily due to dust or smoke in the atmosphere. This can alter the appearance of the moon to take on a bluish tint.

The next Blue Moon will be on July 31, 2015.

For more astronomy information, is another great resource for up to date astronomy news daily.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • RTalloni profile image


      5 years ago from the short journey

      Our friends held a Blue Moon party for their children and grandchildren and they are already planning the next one! Thanks look at a not-very-common day. :)

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      This short hub, is packed with more wonderfully interesting info about the Blue Moon, than a lengthy,boring report!! I love this. Very interesting information to pass along, the next time someone mentions, "Once in a Blue Moon."

      Your readers can now, just jump in and sound like an astrology professor!! LOL.....Thanks so much for this. THIS is Google worthy for sure!......UP+++

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      6 years ago from Taos, NM

      I love this article! I have always heard that phrase and never knew the origin of it. This is an amazing article and I learned so much from it. Well done and well written!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      That was absolutely fascinating! Its one of those things that we take for granted, and yet when asked about we say, I have no idea why its called that! well now I know! lol! and thanks for the info, voted up! and shared, nell


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)