WASHINGTON (AP) -- When the full moon took its place in Friday night's cold
winter sky, it began an unusual series of full moons not seen in
than eight decades.
There will be two full moons in January, none in February, and two
in March. That last occurred in 1915, reported Geoff Chester of the U.S.
January's first full moon, the moon after Yule or old moon, became
at 9:50 p.m. EST Friday.
The month's second full moon occurs at 11:07 a.m. January 31.
full moon like this one will appear twice in the months of January and
March When a month has two full moons the second is known as a "blue"
moon, though it only rarely has a blue tint that unusual atmospheric
conditions can supply.
Occasionally the moon takes on unusual colors, but most often it tends
to be reddish, reports Guy Ottewell of Furman University in Greenville,
The occasional blue or bluish-green moon can take place when a lot of
dust is present in the air, such as after a volcanic eruption, Ottewell
notes in his Astronomical Calendar 1999.
After January's double full moon, February manages to skip a full
At 28 days, it's the only month short enough to accomplish the feat.
The moon's cycle varies from 29.2 days to 29.9 days, averaging 29.53.
Thus, a month with 30 or 31 days has a complete cycle of all four
of the moon.
February last lacked a full moon in 1961 and will miss one again in
After January, the first full moon will be March 2 at 1:59 a.m. EST.
The full moon of March is variously known as the sap moon, crow moon
Lenten moon. And at 5:49 p.m. March 31 will come another blue moon, the
second in the same month.
The remaining full moons of 1999 will be: April 30, called the grass
or egg moon May 30, the planting moon or milk moon June 28, the rose
flower moon or strawberry moon July 28, the thunder moon or hay moon
August 26, the green corn moon or grain moon September 25, the harvest
moon or fruit moon October 24, the hunters moon November 23, the frosty
moon or beaver moon December 22, the moon before Yule.
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