SciTech

Friday is a ‘once in a blue moon’ day

The photographer used a telescope and held his Sony dslr camera to the telescope's eyepiece to get this great photo of the moon.
The photographer used a telescope and held his Sony dslr camera to the telescope's eyepiece to get this great photo of the moon.

Today is one of those days that only happens once in a blue moon. Really.

For the second time this month, there is a full moon in the sky (the other happened on July 2). It’s a rare occurrence that happens once every few years, and we last experienced one in May 2012.

But despite the name, you aren’t likely to actually see a bluish tint to the moon.

“Most Blue Moons look pale gray and white, just like the Moon you’ve seen on any other night,” according to an article from NASA.

That’s not always the case, though. NASA says there have been a few times in the past century when the second full moon happened around the time of a volcanic eruption, and ash in the atmosphere actually made the moon look blue. And depending on how low the moon hangs, it could actually look kind of red, according to the space agency.

So while we can’t promise you the moon will look blue tonight, here are a few ways to mark the day:

▪ Raise a glass of Blue Moon beer with friends after work.

▪ Belt out the 1934 ballad “Blue Moon” during karoke.

▪ Head out to the Blue Moon Bar Crawl, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday at Fitzgerald’s Charlotte in uptown.

And if you happen to do anything quirky today, you have a convenient excuse.

After all, a day like today isn’t expected to happen again until 2018.

Bethea: 704-358-6013. Twitter: @AprilBethea

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