The spooky season is finally here bringing pumpkins, candy corn and colourful fall foliage with it. While this year’s Halloween celebrations will be in a low-key manner due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic a rare Halloween blue moon will light up the sky on October 31. As if 2020 was not crazy enough a combination of rare lunar events will make this Halloween extra-special. We all have probably heard the phrase - ‘once in a Blue Moon’. It comes from the fact that a Blue Moon is super rare considering it is the second full moon that occurs in a month. A full moon occurs on Halloween every 18 to 19 years. It is one of the rare-sight events. Here is all you need to know about the rare Halloween blue moon in 2020.
What is a blue moon?
Halloween is always full of spooky surprises but this year will have one spectacular sight that has nothing to do with jack-o-lanterns or trick-or-treat. A full moon occurs every month but at times the lunar cycle and calendar are not always in sync due to which we witness two full moons in the same calendar month. A full moon on Halloween only occurs roughly once in every 19 years (known as a Metonic cycle). According to NASA’s National Space Science Data Center the blue moon occurs only once every two years making it all more special.
Therefore the October 2020 will see two full moons. The first one is called the Harvest moon that occurred on the first of the month and the second one is the blue moon which would be visible on October 31. According to the Farmers’ Almanac this will be the first time when a Halloween full moon will appear in all time zones since 1944. Last time a Halloween full moon appeared was in 2001 but it was visible only in the Central and Pacific time zones.
Are blue moons actually blue?
The name "blue moon" does not indicate that the moon will be a bewitching shade of indigo. Most of us have a misconception that the name blue moon comes from its colour but the origin of the blue moon can be traced back with the popular phrase ‘once in a blue moon’. Most blue moons look like the standard full moon. While Halloween’s full moon will likely appear in its usual grey colour but the moon has “turned blue'' in the past. According to NASA the moon takes on a blue appearance due to the volcanic eruptions, forest fires and smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere.
Most blue moons look pale grey and white indistinguishable from any other moon you have ever seen. However the moon did appear to have a blue tint after the volcano Krakatoa erupted in Indonesia in 1883. The moon appeared to be blue because of all the dust from the volcano that rose into the air due to the volcanic eruption. While the event is unlikely to cause a true blue hue history proves that it is possible.
Blue moon in October 2020
If it is going to be a clear night on October 31 then you can enjoy watching the moon with a telescope and with everyone staying at home amid the pandemic this could be a good way to celebrate Halloween 2020. You don't need any special equipment to spot this rare moon - just hope for clear skies so you get a great view of Earth's satellite. The next blue moon is expected to occur almost after three years in 2023.
That’s all folks! Hope you enjoyed reading the blog. For an easy-peasy experience book your train and flight tickets online through Trainman app. Download Trainman App and check PNR Status of the ticket booked, Running Status, Train Inquiry and many such spellbound features.