• Aditya Das

“Blue Moon” To Be Witnessed On October 31

Updated: Nov 15, 2020

Shreya Gupta

October 28, 2020

October 2020 will see two full moons, which is termed as a ‘Blue Moon’, according to Arvind Paranjpye, the director of Nehru Planetarium in Bengaluru.

Blue Moon

( Source: Newsweek)

However disheartening it may be, the term 'Blue Moon' has nothing do with the actual colour of the moon. A very rare phenomenon, it happens when there are two full moons in a month. This had last occurred in 2018 and will next occur in 2023. Ironically, it matches perfectly with the phrase ‘once in a blue moon’.

“There are two full moons this October” Arvind Parinjpye, director of Nehru Planetarium, told The Indian Express. The first full moon was recorded on October 2nd. It can be seen at tentatively 8:19pm.

There is simple mathematics behind this phenomenon. According to Paranjpye, a lunar month comprises 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 38 seconds. To have two full moons in one month, the first one will have to take place on the first or second day of the month, according to what Paranjpye said. In a normal year, there are 12 full moons, but in a year like this, there will be 13, The Indian Express quoted Paranjpye. This also means that after about 30 months, there will be one extra full moon in the year, according to Hindustan Times.

Blue moons are often associated with fictional characters such as werewolves, vampires and other horror related figments of imagination. Purely incidentally, the second full moon, which is the ‘blue moon’, will coincide with Halloween 2020, making the affair even more interesting.

Astrology King, an astrology site implies that the second full moon is closer to Uranus, which is considered the planet of change and revolution. So, as per them, unexpected change and uncertainty can cause anxiety, impatience, and an inability to relax. Such sites have also linked the Blue Moon to the United States Presidential Election, trying to link the outcome to the lunar phenomenon.

Clarifying the doubt about the moon looking blue on October 31st, the term ‘blue moon’ has nothing to do with the appearance of the moon. However, if it does look blue, that will be because of the scattering of light due to particles in the atmosphere, as explained by The Indian Express.

Sources : (The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Economic Times, News Week, Astrology King)

Edited by : Shreya Gupta

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