This year, March is showing us an interesting astronomical event – the Blue Moon. This is possible because the full moon lights the sky for the second time on the 31st at 8:37 a.m. The appearance occurs for the second time in the same month. The event can happen once in 2.66 years and whenever it takes place, the second full moon is called the “Blue Moon”.
The interesting fact is March 31st is the second time when we have the chance to see the Blue Moon since the beginning of the year.
If you are wondering what could be the cause, astronomers tell us that the answer is connected to the length of time necessary for the moon to reach its’ full cycle (most commonly known as month). This year, February didn’t have a full moon, so March could get a second one. Let’s not forget that in 2018 we witnessed another such event – two full moons, therefore another Blue Moon in January also. Due to the fact that it happened twice this year, we won’t see the phenomenon again until 2020.
The Blue Moon from March sets the date for Easter
The Blue Moon from March has something special: it can be considered “Paschal”. Usually, the Easter is established in the first Sunday after the first full moon that appears in the first month of spring. Indeed, this year, the Easter is celebrated on April 1st, the next Sunday after the “Paschal” moon.
Blue Moon interesting facts
- Only in March we can have a Paschal Moon that is also a Blue Moon
- The last Blue Paschal moon was in 1999. The next one will be in 2037
- The last time when Easter was celebrated on April first was in 1956
- The next Blue Moon will happen close to another significant event: October 31st 2020 (the night we celebrate Halloween)
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca