Several messages claim that coming Friday on August 31st, 2012, everyone can witness “Blue Moon”, and that it is a rare phenomenon which happens only once in every 3 years.
It is a fact that on Friday, the 31st of August, 2012, everyone can witness a rare occurrence called “Blue Moon”, but it is be noted that the moon will not turn into blue color as such and the ‘rare occurrence’ is to be properly understood. The messages claiming that Moon will turn Blue on coming Friday are simply hoaxes.
“Blue Moon” is often misunderstood, both in terms of its color and its rare occurrence. It has got nothing to do with the color, and is no different than any other full moon that we generally see, except for its occurence according to English calendar. Generally, there will be 12 full moons every year, a season of 3 months will therefore have three full moons. Ocassionally, when four full moons occur in a season, the third of the full moons is traditionally called a “Blue Moon”. Such an year will have 13 full moons. On an average, this happens once in every 2.7 years. More often, two full moons will fall within the same month, and many people call the second full moon as the Blue Moon, but this is NOT the original meaning of the term.
The term ‘Blue Moon’ is believed to have been named after an old English term meaning “betrayer,” as the Blue Moon is an extra full moon occuring in a season, adding peculiarity to normal calendar, which is because our English calendar months are not perfectly synched up with the lunar months. You can read about this in detail in the Wikipedia link in the reference section. It is because of this rare occurrence, there comes this popular saying ‘Once in a blue moon..’.
Moon can actually appear blue in color, under certain circumstances, like when ash is present in the atmosphere from fires or volcanic eruptions. However, this type of Blue Moon cannot be predicted in advance. You can find further details and such occurrences of ‘Blue looking Moon’ in the video below.
The previous Blue Moon occurred on December 31st, 2009, and the next Blue Moon will occur on July 31st, 2015. For those of you still interested to watch it this Friday, the moon will reach its full phase at 9:58 a.m. EDT.