Guess they don’t say “Once in a blue moon” for nothing! This weekend, you’ll have the chance to see the very last blue moon of the decade, according to the Weather Channel. Get your telescopes out: The celestial event is set to peak at 8:37 p.m. on Saturday, March 31.
What is a blue moon?
Surprisingly, a blue moon doesn’t have anything to do with color. A blue moon just means that there will be two full moons in the same calendar month. This definition is widely known as a “monthly blue moon,” according to Space.com. Sometimes, a blue moon is referred to as a “seasonal blue moon,” which means it was the third full moon to appear in one season.
Even though Saturday marks a special occasion, blue moons aren’t all that rare. In fact, Saturday will mark the third time we’ve seen a blue moon this year: The first occurred on January 2 and the second, which was also a supermoon, occurred on January 31. Blue moons typically occur once every two-and-a-half years, but 2018 marks the first time since 1999 that we’ve seen two blue moons in a single year — a phenomena that’s not expected to happen again until 2037!
The next blue moon is expected to appear on October 31, 2020.
How to Watch the Blue Moon
As of right now, meteorologists think people living in the South, Southwest, and on the West Coast will have the best view of the beautiful blue moon, while scattered showers and thick clouds may keep this moon out of view for the rest of us. But it’s still early yet, so the forecast could change — and we’ve got our fingers crossed that the blue moon will be visible to more skywatchers. If you’re not in an area where you can view the blue moon in person, we have good news: Slooh, the robotic telescope service with machines around the world, is going to be broadcasting a live commentary of the blue moon on Saturday. The live stream will begin at 9 p.m. BST (8pm UTC, 4pm EDT, 1pm PDT).