Rare Second Full Moon Rises Tonight

The moon has always been a source of curiosity and intrigue for the earth-dwellers and on Saturday, October 31 the celestial ball is going to be even more interesting.

Tonight, the world will get a chance to witness the second full moon of the month – goes without saying, a rare occurrence.

To make the phenomenon even rarer, it so appears that the second full moon is also our first global full moon in a really long time – 76 years precisely. This means that tonight’s full moon shall be visible from almost every part of Earth, although some not-so-lucky areas will still miss out on it.

While the festival of Halloween is not so popular in India, people in the West have even more reason to celebrate since this is the first Halloween full moon in close to eight decades. While typical Halloween folklore has always counted the night of Halloween as one with a full moon up in the skies, it so happens that this depiction is more ingrained in popular culture, rather than the actual appearance of the moon. This year, though, thanks to a rare occurrence of two full moons in the month of October, Halloween celebrations can add on an extra zing.

For space watchers, this will be another treat. While one can spot the moon with the naked eye, having a telescope at hand will further let you view the moon’s craters even more closely.

We generally see 12 Full Moons in a year — three every four seasons. However, since each Full Moon is separated by 29.5 days, this means that it takes 354 days for the Moon to complete the 12 full phases. The leftover days of the year keep adding up until once every two -and-a-half years, 13 Full Moons appear in one calendar year. This ‘extra’ Full Moon is a rare event and so it came to be called a Blue Moon.

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