This has been an exciting summer for moon gazers...on the 5th of May, the Super Moon occurred as the moon reached the closest point to Earth in its orbit, making it appear unusually large...Now the Blue Moon will rise on August 31, 2012, a rare occurrence not to be repeated until 2015!
Everyone has heard the phrase "once in a blue moon" used to describe an uncommon event, but what a "Blue Moon" actually is varies somewhat depending on one's definition. Historically, it can be either the 3rd full moon of the season or, as it has come to mean now, a single month with two full moons, which is highly unusual.. and this is what is happening this month.
Blue Moons which are actually blue or lavender- blue in color can be caused by an unusual amount of particles in the atmosphere.. This can be brought about by events such as volcanic eruptions or forest fires which throw soot and ash into the air creating an otherworldly appearance...
The most fascinating of all the types of Blue Moons, is the calendrical Blue Moon which is used for the reckoning of season, agricultural festivals and rituals.. When a season has four full Moons, rather than the usual three, then the 3rd Full Moon of that season is a Blue Moon...Such Blue Moons of ritual reckoning occur one month before the next Equinox or Solstice, respectively, in February, May, August and November.. and were no doubt used by our people to gauge season from the very earliest times!
The same early Europeans who painted the splendid cave vistas of Lascaux, France 17,000 years ago also created what are perhaps the most fascinating and advanced ancient lunar calendars. These wonderful lunar calendars were carved in bone in approximately 32,000 BCE. The Aurignacian Lunar Calendars are the earliest known of their kind, and are thought to be the first attempts at creating a calculator to predict the future. This example, showing spiraling moons as observed by the ancient artist-scientist who carved them, was found in Germany.