Skip to main content

Tonight's 'Blue Moon' wants attention; don't give it what it wants

Tonight's 'Blue Moon' wants attention; don't give it what it wants


This event is once in a blue moon, but it’s not a blue moon

Share this story

Bill Ingalls/NASA/Getty Images

You may have heard musings that there's a blue moon on the rise tonight. Don't believe the hype. The moon you see this evening will stay the same grey-ish shade it always looks.

Tonight's full moon is the second full moon of July, and whenever two full moons occur in the same month, the second one is considered "blue." The event is pretty rare; there are 29.53 days between each full moon, and only 365.24 days in the year. That means there are 12.37 full moons each year. That extra .37 adds up over time, so every two to three years, you get 13 full moons in one year. The last blue moon happened in August 2012, and the next one won't happen until January 2018.

This publicity stunt must end

Neat, right? No, this publicity stunt must end.

Here's the deal: I love the Moon. It has a sway over my heart just as it does over the Earth's tidal forces. At around 230,000 miles away, the Moon serves as an enticing candidate for where to build our very first off-planet colony. It's also part of us — literally. If you believe the Giant Impact Hypothesis, the Moon is actually made up of Earth debris, when our planet's evil twin slammed into us 4.5 billion years ago.

In essence, the Moon is us, and we are it.

Moon, I just want you to stop pretending, you know? You're not blue. Parts of you may be blue, when the titanium oxide on your surface shifts color. But overall, you are dark brown, black, or gray. And that's wonderful! You are a silver fox — our planetary system's John Slattery. Beautiful craters and lava-filled "seas" dot your surface. You even house mountain ranges and dormant volcanoes that are billions of years old.

So, stop trying to be something you're not. Because you are already perfect. In every way.

Verge Vault: The biggest findings from the Pluto flyby