Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 12, 2009 ~ Blue Moon

Well the naturalist and sky watcher in me has been waiting for this day to come! Today (12/2) is the first full moon of December 2009. I know this month will be exceedingly special, not only because it is the month our new baby will be born, but it seems the “stars” (or rather moons) have aligned to confirm it! December of 2009 has two full moons, and our baby will inevitably be born between them. The next full moon will be on New Years Eve.

As many of you know I am infatuated with the lunar cycle, so I will share a little of my obsession. A lunar month lasts 29.53 days. This is how long it takes for the Moon to make a cycle though all of her phases: New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter, Waning Crescent, and New again. Because the months of our annual calendar average thirty days there is generally only one full moon a month. But, every now and then – once in a “blue moon” to be exact, there will be a month with two full moons!

Every month’s full moon has a name. When a month has two full moons, the second moon is called a “Blue Moon.” Blue moons are rather rare, and that is why the saying goes “once in a blue moon.” In fact they only happen once every 2.72 years. The next time we will see a blue moon will be August of 2012.

So enjoy the full moon rising tonight, in West Michigan it will be around 5:20 pm and set tomorrow morning at 8:29 am. The December full moon is known as the Full Cold Moon or the Full Long Nights Moon. We will be watching expectantly if the clouds disperse, but we can also just gaze at my huge belly that is beginning to look like a full moon. If there is one thing I can guarantee it is that sometime before the Blue Moon on December 31st there will be a new person in our lives to share the natural wonders of the lunar cycle with!

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