A rare 'blue moon' for New Year's Eve

For some lucky viewers in much of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, the 'blue moon' will also partially eclipse.

According to this article in Universe Today,

"Although there were 41 Blue Moons in the twentieth century, there was one of only four during an eclipse (in 1982), and the only total eclipse of a Blue Moon in the twentieth century. A Blue Moon happens every 2.7 years because of a disparity between our calendar and the lunar cycle. The lunar cycle is the time it takes for the Moon to revolve around Earth: 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes."

The next sighting of a 'blue moon' will be on August 2, 2012, and the even rarer phenomenon of two blue moons in one year will next occur in 2018, on January 31 and March 31.

At 7:15 pm this Thursday night (a.k.a: New Year's Eve), we'll be fortunate enough to witness a 'blue moon'.

Okay, the moon won't literally be blue, but the occurrence doesn't happen too often (hence the phrase: "Once in a blue moon"). A 'blue moon' is the second full moon that appears in a month - the last being in June 2007, and the next being December 31, 2009. This lunar anomaly happens once every 30 months, but the last time it fell on New Year's Eve was in 1990.

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