Astronomy

The Month in Recorded History with no Full Moon



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"The Month in Recorded History with no Full Moon"
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The full moon, though not a rare occurrence, does at times seem to be a magical, awe inspiring phenomenon that makes most nights appear rather humdrum. A full moon can light up a clear night almost to the point of being able to read a book without additional lighting. The moon has inspired stories of monsters and werewolves that prey upon innocent people when the moon is full. It has even been suggested that sometimes the world seems to get a bit stranger on a full moon night. Whatever the facts or fallacies regarding a full moon are it is a monthly occurrence they people know and expect. Is it possible to have a month without a full moon?

The fact is that there are two major full moon phenomenon that can occur and both are bit rare so they have been eagerly anticipated in past eras those people who had a moon based religion and in contemporary eras by those people who study the moon.

One full moon occurrence is known as a Blue Moon which is when a certain month ends up having two full moons, one at the beginning of the month and a second at the end of the month. A Blue Moon is not very common and only occurs every 2.7 years or about every 33 months.

The second full moon occurrence is when a month has no full moon. This is even more of a rare phenomenon than the Blue Moon and can only happen in a February since most February's only have 28 days and the moon is only full about every 29.5 days. In fact in the past century there have only been four occurrences of a February not having a full moon, the last being in 1999. The coming century (in 2018, 2037, 2067, and 2094) will also have a February without a full moon.

The Blue Moon months and the no full moon months are rare occurrences that both entranced and frightened the superstitious peoples of the past because they were so rare and because calculating when they would occur took so long when doing the math by hand. The contemporary era has brought the invention of the computer which makes predicting the moons behavior much more easy so it is possible to know when these rare occurrence will happen. People are much less superstitious these days so they are not as easily influenced by the moons occasional odd behavior but it is still interesting observe.

More about this author: Robert D. Twitchell

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