Rare blue moon on Halloween in 2020

It’s the first time a blue moon has appeared in all North American time zones since 1944

Rare blue moon on Halloween in 2020
Halloween will be extra spooky this year with a full/blue moon in 2020. This image shows Trona Pinnacles near California's NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center during a blue moon. (Source: NASA)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - For the first time in decades, a blue moon will add an extra spooky factor to Halloween in 2020.

A blue moon happens when there are two full moons in the same month. It has nothing to do with the moon actually being blue (though the moon can appear blue on any given night if there is dust or smoke in the sky).

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the last time there was a blue moon on Halloween in the eastern U.S. time zone was way back in 1944. (There was a full moon on Halloween 2001 in the Central and Western time zones, and it was nearly full in the Eastern time zone).

The lunar cycle (from one full moon to the next) lasts 29.5 days, so every few years we have a blue moon when two full moons appear in the same month. The phrase “once in a blue moon” means something that is rare and occurs very infrequently.

The next time a 100% full blue-moon will appear on Halloween will be 2039.

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