Blue moon over Marin

Once in a blue moon? That’ll be Friday, the first in nearly three years. A blue moon occurs when there are two full moons in the same month. Because a moon cycle lasts for about a month, the timing has to be just right to get two in the same month. July 2 was a full moon. July 31 will be, too. Hence, blue moon 2015. The last time this happened was August 2012, when there was a full moon on August 31 that year. The next blue moon will be an even rarer event. Because of their timing coinciding with a leap year, both January and March of 2018 will have a blue moon. The last time that happened was 1999. To answer a common question: no, the moon won’t actually be the color blue. While there are some conditions that can cause the moon to appear a shade of blue—smoke, a concentration of certain particles—the name has nothing to do with the moon’s color. It dates back to a 16th-century piece of literature using the word “belewe,” to betray, to refer to a moon that doesn’t properly mark the end of a farming season. The “blue” caught on in the early 1900s and now generally refers to two full moons in the same month. David Nolen Swaim Owner Tam Realty Inc DRE-1070789 609 San Anselmo Ave San Anselmo CA 94960 415-710-5504 www.tamrealty.com

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