Blue Moon: when to look out for August’s moon - and what the name means’

There are two kinds of Blue Moons - monthly and seasonal

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Like many colloquialisms, the phrase “once in a blue moon,” gets its origin from the world of astronomy.

The moon may not actually turn Blue, but the astrological phenomena only appears once every couple of years.

The next chance to see a Blue Moon by the more modern definition will come in August 2023.

Here’s all you need to know about the August Blue Moon.

What is the Blue Moon?

Blue Moon refers to the full moon seen in August.

It is known by some early Native American tribes of the northeastern United States as the Sturgeon Moon. The name refers to the large Sturgeon fish of the Great Lakes, which are more easily caught at this time of year.

There are two kinds of Blue Moons - monthly and seasonal. The monthly Blue Moon is the second visible full moon in a calendar month. The seasonal Blue Moon is the third full moon of an astronomical seasons that has four full moons.

In astronomy, a season is the period of time between a solstice and equinox, or vice versa.

The moon actually taking on the colour blue is extremely rare. If it does happen, it can be caused by water droplets in the air, certain types of clouds, or particles thrown into the atmosphere by natural catastrophes, such as volcanic ash and smoke.

When to look out for August Blue Moon?

The last true Blue Moon was in February 2019, and the next one is falling on 19 August 2024.

Blue Moon observers will need to wait until 20 May 2027 to catch a glimpse again.

Using the calendar month definition, the next blue moon comes on 31 August 2023, followed by 31 May 2026 and 31 December 2028.

When is every full moon in 2021?

  • 28 January
  • 27 February
  • 28 March
  • 27 April
  • 26 May
  • 24 June
  • 24 July
  • 22 August
  • 21 September
  • 20 October
  • 19 November
  • 19 December
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