Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Once In A Blue Moon

That once is coming on New Years Eve.  Thursday December 31st will be the second full moon of the month, officially making it a blue moon.  Blue moons occur once every 2.7 years, the next one not scheduled until August 31st 2012.  By that time the world will have ended according to the ancient Maya, so this is your last chance to see one.  Hopefully it will be clear enough. 

Since the moon obviously doesn't actually turn blue, I scoured the internet in search of the etymology of the term, but like my search for the origins of the term "egg nog" this also proved futile.  The best I could come up with was Wikipedia which has a myriad of explanations, each less interesting than the last.  I really didn't make it through many before giving up out of boredom so I won't subject you to any of my findings.

What I did find interesting is that certain atmospheric conditions do occasionally cause the moon to appear blue.  When smoke and dust particles approximately one micrometer in diameter are in the air, the longer wavelenghts of light are scattered, allowing only the blue spectrum through.  As a matter of fact, after the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, the lingering volcanic ash caused the moon to appear blue all around the globe for approximately 2 years.  Hopefully at some point in my lifetime the human race will get together and pollute enough for me to see the moon appearing blue.  All these green bastards hate the color blue and are conspiring to prevent humanity from having it's blue moon.

Finally, all this talk has managed to get the song of the same name stuck in my head and all I can think now is:  bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba dang da dang dang da ding da dong ding.....

They just don't write songs like that anymore.
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