Astronomy Updates with Brian Marsden and John Huchra, Harvard

February 1, 1999  Cambridge, Massachusetts - Whatever else happens between now and 2000 ­ this year got off to a rare start astronomically. There was a full moon on New Year's Day and another last night on January 31st. It's unusual to have two full moons occur in the same month. And it will happen again in March. That's even more unusual. In fact, double "blue moons" won't happen again until 2018.

Why blue? you might ask. Well, editors at Sky & Telescope magazine checked their archives and found "blue moon" mentioned in a 1937 farmers' almanac. But the story had nothing to do with two full moons in the same month. So, it's still a mystery why the color blue ever got attached to a second full moon.


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