Monday, December 28, 2009

Once in a Blue Moon

This is going to be all-over in the Mainstream Media, but you heard it here first! This month is going to have a Blue Moon. A Blue Moon is the second full moon that happens in a single month. The Lunar Cycle is 29.53 days, or 29 days 12 hours and 44 minutes. If you are an astrophysicist, all kinds of things change that cycle. Like, how fast the Earth revolves around the Sun, the distance the Moon is away from the sun and the Earth etc. But, for you and me, if we went out and set on our lawns, and timed the full Moons, we would find them to be 29.53 days apart.

Whoever made up the universal cycles had a sense of humor. The Moons trip around the Earth does not correspond the length of the days, nor number of days in a month. So it’s all screwed up. We have leap years to keep the days timed to the years, and leap hours and even leap seconds that we use to keep our clocks right. We have Blue Moons to add a Full Moon to the other wise unwieldy Lunar cycle.

Unlike we do with the "time" to keep it corresponding to the movement of the Earth around the Sun, we just let the Moon do whatever it wants to. So, when ever an extra Moon shows up in a month, we just call it a Blue Moon, and go on. It doesn’t change a thing.

However, a blue moon is very rare! We only have one every 2 1/2 years, or one every 41 months. (again, there are tons of scientific variables, that would only bore people like you and me) The really unusual thing about the one coming up this month is that it is happening on the very last day of the year, December 31st. To make the Blue Moon even more rare, there will be a partial eclipse in certain places around the world. How cool is that!

A Blue Moon, on the last day of the year, and a partial eclipse, what could be more rare? One more thing, it is also my wife and my aniversary!  Now, if I take her out to dinner, buy a good bottle of wine, buy her a nice little gift, and just be a super romantic guy. Imagine the possibilities! The Sky is the limit!


Anonymous said...

And where will you be buying that little gift? Ahem.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Locally of course. Why does this sound like Bunny???

Bunny's shop is "The Blue Moon" she and I share a birthday March 25th. And, we share an aniversary of December 31st. The world is just filled with coinkadinks.(Jimmy Durante)

Bunny said...

You know I use my name Ernie. Happy Anniversary my friend. Do you know if there's a party at the town square? It's the 10th anniversary of the millennium party in town. And maybe the Blue Moon should be open. For warmth.

Ben said...

Ernie... My beloved wife is an astrologer of some renown. She maintains that a true Blue Moon is the second full moon in a Sign rather than a month. I don't argue. Jut throwing that out there to be contentious.

Carol said...

I always thought it was when there are two blue moons in the same month, the second one is called the Blue Moon. Happy Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

It looks like Ernie AND Ben know how to behave themselves around their better halfs, Blue Moon or not.
Ernie, I am sure we had two Blue Moons in one year here in the not to distant past. I am talking about our kind of Blue Moon, not Ben's wifes Blue Moon.


Anonymous said...

Hey Ernie, I looked it up and there was two blue moons in 1999.
January 31 and March 31. I think February was skipped over with no
full moon.
I think somebody should name that phenomenon if it hasn't been termed yet. If not, I think Souxie Twoblahs could come up with an appropreate name.


Ernie Branscomb said...

According to the Times-Standard, the original Blue Moon was the third full moon in any one season that had four full moons.

They say that the original mistake was made in 1946 when Sky and Telescope Magazine misinterpeted the Farmer's Almanac and printed that it was the second full moon in any one month. I like it better, it's easier to understand.

They say in years past that they actually did have a BLUE moon, due to a volcanic eruption.

Oregon and Ross,
I forwarded some emails to you so you can swap e-dresses. Let me know if it doesn't work out.

Ernie Branscomb said...

More coincidences, I took my wife out to dinner tonight. We ate at Cecil's. We sat across from the Blue Moon gift shop, We sipped on Blue Moon beer, and if the clouds had parted a bit we would have been able to see the blue Moon in the sky. Talk about “Once in a Blue Moon”...

Robin Shelley said...

Lloyd Padon sure would like to talk to you. May I send you his phone number?

Anonymous said...

Robin writes again. She seems to only write once in a blue moon.