Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon Tonight!

Tonight's full moon is a special one: it's the only Blue Moon of 2012, with the next occurrence not coming until July 2015.

What is a Blue Moon?  According to the American Heritage Dictionary, there are a few possible definitions...

a. The third full moon in a three-month calendrical season that has four full moons.
b. The second of two full moons occurring in the same month.

2. Informal A relatively long period of time: I haven't seen you in a blue moon.

[Sense 2, probably from the rare occurrence whereby the moon appears blue from high amounts of dust in the atmosphere, as from a volcanic eruption.]

In tonight's case, it is the second full moon in August, but this definition is actually not preferred by the experts over at Sky and Telescope Magazine.  Click here for the full scoop on how a mistake made in 1946 led to the current (and "inaccurate") definition of a Blue Moon.

Last night's moon was so bright I could have read a book outside, and tonight's moon promises to be even lovelier.  In case you're in the mood, here's the recipe for a Blue Moon Cocktail:

              2 oz dry gin
             1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
             1/2 oz Creme Yvette (or creme de violette)

             Fill a mixing glass two-thirds full with ice.  Add gin, lemon juice and Creme Yvette.
             Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.

             Enjoy while watching a Blue Moon.

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