Blue moon to appear for first time in 3 years

Light from the setting sun reflects off the One World Trade Center tower as the moonrises in its waxing stage seen from The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J., Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The moon will reach its full stage Friday in a phenomenon known as the blue moon. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Light from the setting sun reflects off the One World Trade Center tower as the moonrises in its waxing stage seen from The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J., Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The moon will reach its full stage Friday in a phenomenon known as the blue moon. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

(MEDIA GENERAL) – It hasn’t happened since August 2012. But, on Friday, we’ll experience a blue moon for the first time in three years.

A blue moon has nothing to do with color and everything to do with timing. Each month has one full moon. But, every once in a while the cycle of the moon and our calendar match up to give us two full moons in a month.

This July, the first full moon was on July 2, and the second full moon is on July 31.

CNN reports if the moon does appear blue, it’s likely because of smoke or dust in the atmosphere.

So, when you hear people say “once in a blue moon,” now you know why the famous phrase means rare or seldom. It’s not because of the color of the moon, but because of how often you see two full moons in one month.

According to CNN, a blue moon will not be seen again until January 2018.

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