In the coming days, check back for a big recap of some of our favorite events of 2009. But tonight, relax and enjoy a once in a blue moon new year.
What's a blue moon? If you happen to look up at midnight, you may see the second full moon of the month, AKA: a blue moon.
The last NYE blue moon was in 1990, and it won't happen again until 2028. My kids got a kick out of figuring out how old we'll all be by then (Sagezilla will be 25 and Du-Jay 27!) Of course, a blue moon isn't literally blue. The name implies the rarity of two full moons in a month and spawned the saying "once in a blue moon."
"There is nothing scientific about it, and it has no astronomical significance," said Mark Hammergren, a staff astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois, when asked about this NYE blue moon. "But I believe it does give us some insight into history and makes us think of how our calendar system has derived from motions of objects in the sky."
Our lunar months are pretty close to calendar months, so most years have 12 full moons, with 1 appearing each month. But the solar cycle, or the time it takes Earth to make one trip around the sun, provides our calendar year. This means a year is not exactly divisible by lunar months, so every three years or so there are 13 full moons.
So enjoy this rare blue moon occurrence with some true blue friends and family. And we'll see ya next year.