Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Once in a blue moon
Well, it isn't a blue moon (technically the second full moon to occur in any given month), but it is the first full lunar eclipse to occur on winter solstice in 456 years.
My eyes have seen a sight that has not been seen since 1554. Wow.
The most recent eclipse during a blue moon (by the "second full moon in a calendar month" definition) occurred on 31 December 1999.
The most recent blue moon by the "third full moon during a season" definition occurred last month, on 21 November. And the most recent black moon, defined as the new moon in a month with no full moon, occurred during February 2010.
For a list of names different cultures have assigned the various full moons during the year, you can go to the Wikipedia article on the Full Moon.