Rare “Blue Moon” Will Be Visible Around the World on Halloween

Blue Moon in 2015

Blue moon over Virginia in 2015. (Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Astronomy lovers have a special treat in store for Halloween. A rare blue moon will be on view across all time zones for the first time since 1944. But, if you're getting your hopes up for seeing the moon actually tinged blue, you'll have to wait for another moment—a blue moon has nothing to do with the color.

There are two types of blue moons. The first refers to the second full moon in a calendar month. The other type is a seasonal blue moon, which is the third of four full moons across a season. Sometimes a blue moon can be both monthly and seasonal, but it's very rare. In fact, it won't happen until 2048.

The blue moon the world will be watching on October 31 is the monthly variety. This second full moon in October comes after the first full moon on October 1. While the last monthly blue moon happened on March 31, 2018, this year's version is even rarer, which is owed to the scope of its visibility. The Halloween blue moon will be on full display no matter where you live on Earth—something that won't happen again for another 19 years!

Doctored Photo of Blue Tinged Moon

Enhanced image to make the moon appear blue. (Photo: Stock Photos from kdshutterman/Shutterstock)

Though you may end up seeing photos of blue-hued moons online after the event, don't be fooled. These are doctored images that have been turned blue by filters or Photoshop. Blue moons aren't any different in color than a regular full moon. Moons can sometimes be blue, but for a different reason. Certain changes to atmospheric conditions can release particles into the atmosphere that scatter red light, causing the blue appearance. This might happen after a volcanic eruption or a fire.

But even though the blue moon isn't blue, it doesn't mean that it's not worth looking out for. And as you gaze up at the sky, you can marvel at the fact that anywhere on Earth, people are seeing the same blue moon.

h/t: [Unilad]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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