Get ready because not only will your last month of summer be (hopefully) full of pool parties and outdoor activities, but you'll get to witness two full moons. The first full moon will appear on August 1st and the second on August 31st. One of these moons will be a "blue moon." Not sure what that is? We've got the deets below.
What it is:
When two full moons appear in the same month, the second is called a “blue moon.”
How often it happens:
Having two full moons in one month isn’t that rare. On average, it happens every 2.66 years. In 1999, it happened twice in a span of three months!
Why it’s called a “blue moon:”
The second full moon looks the same as the first, but sometimes the moon can change color. After forest fires or volcanic eruptions, the moon can turn bluish or lavender. Ash and soot particles that are deposited high in the earth’s atmosphere causes this color change in the moon’s appearance. This happened in 1950, when widespread forest fire activity in western Canada created a blue moon.
We may see a very blue moon at the end of August since wildfires have been devastating areas in the US all summer. In Colorado, the Waldo Canyon Fire burned 346 homes and 18,247 acres in Colorado Springs, and the High Park Fire burned 87,284 acres and 259 homes west of Fort Collins. Maybe a pretty blue moon isn't the best thing after all?
3 facts about forest fires
- An average of 1.2 million acres of U.S. woodland burn every year.
- More than 4 out of every 5 wildfires are caused by people.
- Another cause of wildfires is the buildup of grass, leaves and twigs in a pile. This accumulation of dead matter can create heat, enough in some instances to spontaneously combust and ignite the surrounding area.
Prepare for a fire drill. GO