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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Blue Moon

Posted by | July 1, 2015 | Filed under: Observations

From the archive: Posted July 1, 2015; astronomical dates/times fit only that month.

Tonight's full moon is the first of two full moons this month. The next will be on the 31st. Modern convention will label it a blue moon.

NASA Photo: Moon from Apollo 11

The blue moon's moment most full will be at 6:42 — ante meridiem, of course. By then the lunar disk will be an hour below the horizon (it'll set at 5:43, 14 minutes after sunrise) and the next chance to greet its glow will be at 8:03, two minutes before sunset.

Blue moon,
you saw me standing alone
without a dream in my heart
without a love of my own…

With the moon in mind, many open an almanac, some look to astronomy or astrology, and a few seek lunar folklore. At this research reserve, we think how tied the moon is to the tides and how tides appreciably define the estuary.

When I see "blue moon," I whistle Rodgers and Hart and earn an earworm for a day. Dick's melody and Larry's lyrics made quite a song. You know it:

Blue moon,
you knew just what I was there for
you heard me saying a prayer for
somebody I really could care for.

Distant will be July's blue moon — more than 227,000 miles away. If you drove the Moon Turnpike at a steady 70, it'd take almost 5 months to get there. That's far, but close relatively speaking; the Moon will be near perigee then, conveying extra pull on Earth's oceans. Watch the tides.

And then there suddenly appeared before me,
the only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper, "Please adore me."
and when I looked,
the moon had turned to gold.

Between this month's lunar oppositions, our research director weds her adored. A few weeks later they're moving away. Enjoy a life of gold, Kristin and Mark, we'll miss you.

Blue moon,
now I'm no longer alone
without a dream in my heart
without a love of my own.

Will you be moongazing on the 31st?

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