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November 21, 2010

"Long Night Moon" also a "Blue Moon"

Full moon over BaltimoreFROM TODAY'S PRINT EDITIONS:

The moon is full at 12:28 p.m. today, rising over Baltimore at 4:38 p.m. As the third full moon since the autumn equinox, this one’s called the Long Night Moon, or the Moon Before Yule.

But you could apply the same names to the next full moon, which occurs Dec. 21, just 15 hours BEFORE the winter solstice. As the third full moon in a rare season with four, this one fits the original definition for a “Blue Moon.”

Popular usage has since attached the label to the second full moon in one calendar month.

(SUN PHOTO: Karl Merton Ferron, 2004)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 6:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

Comments

My spouse thought the moon really was blue until I told him he was looking through the tint on the upper part of the windshield! Luckily you had given us the real reason for this name. His comment reminded me of the time I was flying at night at 41,000 feet with another pilot, we saw the Dog Star on the horizon. He said what's that? I replied, it's Sirius. He turned and asked, how serious is it? I laughed the rest of the flight.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
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