What is a Blue Moon?

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What is a Blue Moon?

It only happens once in a 'Blue Moon', is admittedly the first thing that comes to mind, it's a popular phrase with no actual meaning to it. Let’s face it, the phrase sure is catchy. If you feel inclined to reading the definition(s) of what a Blue Moon really is on Wikipedia, and its text book definitions then go for it, or continue scrolling and and we'll give you a little breakdown on what we've found. Well the interesting bits anyway.

"A blue moon is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year, either the third of four full moons in a season or, a second full moon in a month of the common calendar.

The phrase has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon, although a literal "blue moon" (the moon appearing with a tinge of blue) may occur in certain atmospheric conditions. This phenomenon is specific to calendars. Lunar calendars like the Indian national calendar always have one full moon a month."


For starters, it’s the very rare occurrence of blue moons in a certain time of the year, in every third - fourth year…at times even two blue occurring moons in a single year.

Reason being: there is more than one definition of which both are more or less in line with one another.

1 - You have to understand that there is a full moon for every month of the year, summing it up to 12 full moons , 3 for every season , 1 full moon every month but on rare occasions there are 13 full moons in a single year, or a 4th full moon in one astronomical season , the third is The Full Moon . But that’s just the textbook definition in summary.

2 - However, volcanic eruptions too can actually cause a moon to appear ‘Blue’ to the naked eye from below the hemisphere when dreaded volcanic smoke engulfs the earth.

3 - At the Moons furthest distance from the sun, Ice crystals may began to take form due to the harsh inhabitable cold environment and you got a Blue Moon.

The most common description of a Blue Moon is that there are 2 full moons within the same month, the first being a full moon and the second being names a 'Blue Moon'. A little digging brought an interesting article on the origins of the name 'Blue Moon' for this rare occurence. Apparently parts of history called it a 'Betrayer Moon', this was due to the fact that 'The Moon' and it's different positions and phases were used for time and date management. Having to full moons through some calenders off, thus it being called a 'Betrayer Moon.

The most recent Blue Moon occurred on the 31st August 2012 and with the next Blue Moon closing in on us, scheduled for the 31st of July, this coming Friday, what better way to not only view & enjoy the memories of such a rare occasion but to capture it with a GoPro Hero’s Time-lapse feature... Nice idea right?

If you miss this years Blue Moon you'll have to wait till 31 January 2018.

Ideal accessories:

Skeleton Housing, to plug in your External Battery, (Preferably the Wasabi Battery Kit as this gives you a good 30 minutes extra worth of life span) and a Tripod Mount as I’m not exactly keen on hand-held recording for long stretches at a time as you'll want as stable a video as possible.

In regards to capturing these epic night time video: check out our blogs that will assist you in getting the most of your experience.

Keep an eye out for our other 'Blue Moon' themed blogs this week, and definitely check out our 'Blue Moon' sale which kicks off today!

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