Watch for rare blue moon tonight

Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you're out in the cold tonight, make sure you look up! It's going to be a blue moon -- a phenomenon that happens on New Year's Eve, once every 19 years.

Holiday revelers will have the treat of being under a blue moon when the calendar changes from 2009 to 2010 tonight -- that is, if we can see through the clouds in Central Virginia.

According to popular definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a month. But don't expect it to be blue -- the name has nothing to do with its color.

This month's first full moon occurred on Dec. 2. On New Year's Eve, a full moon will be visible in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and Africa.

For purists, however, a blue moon is an extra full moon in a typical three-moon season. So this New Year's Eve full moon doesn't count.

The next blue moon on New Year's Eve isn't expected until the year 2028.

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