This week will witness a rare celestial event with an array of names. On Saturday, May 18, this month’s Full Moon, commonly called the Full Flower Moon, will illuminate the night sky. Express.co.uk has all the details on how you can see the Full Moon in the UK.
Amateur astronomers often think of Full Moons as occurring once per month.
Each month’s Full Moon receives a traditional name tied-in with what takes place at that time of year.
May’s Full Flower Moon earned its unusual moniker because it occurs when flowers come into season, according to the Farmers’ Almanac.
However, sometimes a month actually receives two Full Moons because the phases of the moon take precisely 29.5 days to complete.
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This means that there are 354 days for 12 full cycles, meaning once every two to three years, there is a 13th Full Moon in a calendar year.
Because this moon does not fit into the traditional moon name system of old, it is known as a Blue Moon.
The next Blue Moon following these guidelines will fall in October, 2020.
And there is a second definition of a Blue Moon, describing the third of four Full Moons to appear in one season.
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EarthSky.org astronomer Bruce McClure explained: “What we call a season – winters, spring, summer, fall – typically lasts three months, and typically has three Full Moons.
“If a season has four Full Moons, then the third Full Moon may be called a Blue Moon, according to the old Maine Farmer’s Almanac.
“There was a Blue Moon by this definition on November 21, 2010, another on August 20 to 21, 2013, and another on May 21, 2016.”
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How to see May’s Flower Moon:
Blue Moon will be on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 10.11pm BST (5.11pm ET)
Full moons can be observed with the naked eye and don’t require any special equipment.
But skywatchers facing inclement weather will not have to miss out on this rare event.
The Virtual Telescope Project, which remotely operates several telescopes in Italy, will livestream May’s Flower Moon, which can be watched HERE.