All eyes on the sky this evening as we’ll be able to view a super rare full blue moon, which only occurs every couple of years.
In spite of its name, the blue moon won’t appear blue; it’ll seem bright white. It takes place when the moon is situated on the opposite side of the planet from the sun – meaning the moon will appear particularly illuminated. Typically there are three full moons only in a season, however this go around there are four. NASA elaborates: “A blue moon is special because it is the ‘extra’ moon in a season with four full moons. This usually only happens every two and a half years.” As you’d presume from the statement ‘once in a blue moon’, it’s a very rare occurrence. We will not witness another full blue moon until August 22, 2021.
Speaking to reporters, the Royal Observatory Greenwich expressed: “Normally blue moons come only about every two or three years. In 2018 unusually, we had two blue moons in one year and only two months apart – and one was a lunar eclipse. The next time we will get two blue moons in a year is 2037.” For your prime chance of viewing it in the UK, you’ll need to head outside at 10.11pm. If you’re really anal on getting a good view, then you’d be best attempting to get out into a space with less light pollution.
Nasa too announced that there will be additional astronomical events this weekend. It said in a statement: “By the morning of the full moon on 18 May 2019, as morning twilight begins, Jupiter will appear in the south-southwest about 23 degrees above the horizon and Saturn will appear in the south about 30 degrees above the horizon. Venus will be rising about seven minutes after morning twilight begins but should be visible low in the east-northeast until about 30 minutes before sunrise. Mercury will not be visible, lost in the glow of the sun.” In 2019 we’ve already had a blood moon, a super snow moon and a pink moon.
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