Earlier this evening I read the following article in a newspaper ... so I pulled out my 5D MK III with a Sigma 150-500 OS lens ran to the backyard, (mounted it on my Manfotto 468MGRC2 Ball Head on Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 Tripod legs) to take this photo ... nothing great about the image but I thought the article was interesting as I did not know anything about Blue Moon, other than hear the old saying "Once in a Blue Moon" used by people quite often. Except sharpening and resizing for emailing, no post processing is done to the image.Friday will not be just another full moon night. On August 31 2012, it will literally be a once in a blue moon night, christened so because it will be the second full moon this month.
One gets an opportunity to see a 'blue moon' once in three years. The first full moon of the month was on August 2 and the second one is on August 31. The day holds a historical significance as the last blue moon shone on the earth in December 2009, while the next one is due in July 2015.
Experts believe that the term blue moon is likely to have originated from a rare historic event. The popular saying 'once in a blue moon' and its connection with two full moons in a month could have first happened in 1883 when Mount Krakatoa, a volcano in Indonesia erupted with a tremendous explosion and spewed out enormous amount of dust. This engulfed the earth's upper atmosphere and the moon appeared to acquire a bluish hue and remained so for nearly two years.
However, the earliest recorded English usage of the term 'blue moon' was in a 1524 pamphlet violently attacking the English clergy titled 'Rede Me and Be Not Wrothe' (Read me and be not angry; or possibly Counsel Me and Be Not Angry): "If they say the moon is belewe/We must believe that it is true" (If they say the moon is blue, we must believe that it is true).
There is another available interpretation that uses the Middle English meaning of belewe, which (besides 'blue' the colour) can mean 'betray'.
However, Mount Krakatoa isn't the only example. Other less potent volcanoes have also turned the moon blue. People saw blue moons in 1983 after the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico and there are also reports of blue moons caused by Mount St Helens in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991.
Forest fire in Sweden and Canada in 1950 and 1951 has also caused the moon to appear blue. In all these cases, it was refraction of light that had led to the blue tinge. Astronomy specialists pointed out there have been instances of two full moons in two calendar months every 19 years.
It is in 2018 next that one can witness two blue moons in a year.
There is nothing out of the ordinary on a blue moon night. It has no special metaphysical or any other significance apart from the fact that it probably explains the term of a rare phenomenon being called once in a blue moon' occurrence.