March is a big month for amateur stargazers. The first full moon took place on March 1 and the second, called a “blue moon,” will occur on March 31. The next blue moon won’t roll around until October 2020, so if you enjoy stargazing or just want to take a quick peek at this celestial phenomenon this is your last chance for almost two years.
Some of you might be asking, “Wait, what is a blue moon?” Well, a “blue moon” is the popular term for the second full moon in one calendar month. Most of the time there is one full moon per month. But the lunar cycle is actually 29 days while the calendar month is 28, 30, or 31 days long. That’s why the full moon is on a different day each month. Then, on rare occasions, there are two full moons every month—one at the very beginning and one at the end. It’s pretty rare, hence the expression, “Once in a blue moon.” Yes, we were hoping that the moon would turn blue too. It will, however, be on the eastern horizon and should be appear fiery orange color in the light of the setting sun!
If you enjoyed January’s crazy Super Moon (also a Blue Moon, crazy) get ready to find a good observation spot on March 31.