Image courtesy of zazzle.com
December 31 is not only the end of the year and the end of the decade. It’s a night with a second full moon in a calendar month–a “bluemoon.”
National Geographic reports:
If the skies are clear, revelers looking up at midnight will get an eyeful of the second full moon of the month—commonly called a blue moon. The last time a blue moon appeared on New Year’s Eve was in 1990, and it won’t happen again until 2028.
A blue moon isn’t actually blue—as commonly defined, the name reflects the relative rarity of twofull moons in a month and is linked to the saying “once in a blue moon.”
Most years on average have 12 full moons, with 1 appearing each month.
The term “blue moon” can also refer to the rare instances when the moon actually seems to turn blue, as can happen under certain atmospheric conditions.
Rising in the east at sunset, the New Year’s Evefull moon will reach its highest point at midnight, noted JackHorkheimer, director of the Miami Space-Transit Planetarium and host of PBS television’s long-running show Star Gazer.
“Full moons around winter solstice rise their highest for the entire year,”Horkheimer added. “Even if you are downtown in a large city, if it is clear at the stroke of midnight the moon will be very visible if you look up.”
In any location, the high, silvery orb will seem like a floodlight cast on the landscape, added Horkheimer, who is organizing a national moon-howling contest around this year’s blue moon.
“This is especially true where the ground is covered with a blanket of snow.There is nothing quite so spectacular as a snow-covered scene under a December full moon at midnight.” Source
Happy New Year’s Eve! And here is a Blue Moon Diddle — a riff off of the English nursery rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle.
Hey diddle diddle, the moon is blue
After Hey Diddle Diddle, English Nursery Rhyme
Annette Marie Hyder
Tell all the trees
let the rocks know too
the rivers shall be notified
about the moon’s blue hue.
The sky saved up all year
for this special surprise
so that this new year’s eve
would have an indigo moonrise.
Blue as a robin’s egg or
blue as in rare
we’re in on the wink
from the moon up there.
When the cat sees that
he throws down his fiddle
he pulls out his iPod
and listens to Biddle.
The cow is amazed
that her graceful leap
sent her over the moon
she blushes at her own hoofed feet.
The little dog laughs to see such sport
and begins to chase his tail
when he catches it, he bites it
and then begins to wail.
The spoon is in a fine romance
the dish is his object of woo
her porcelain just sparkles
at the romance and the view
of the moon decked out in party best
and champagne starlight going to her head.
That pretty happiness is two parts why
the two ran off and straightaway wed.