Thursday, June 8, 2017

Strawberry Full Moon On June 9, 2017

Strawberry' Full Moon Tonight During Summer Solstice 2016

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a Strawberry Full Moon on Friday, June 9, 2017.

The 2017 Strawberry Moon begins with a moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean on Florida's east coast around 8:27 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (with plus or minus a few minutes depending on your exact location along Florida's east coast). 

The moon will be at its fullest (99.7% full) the following morning at 1:08 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, June 10, 2017.  The Strawberry Moon will set at 7:21 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday. 

Why is this Full Moon called a Strawberry Moon?




According to Native American folklore, a full moon in June is called a Strawberry Moon because the short season for harvesting strawberries comes during that summer month. Other names for the first full moon is June are Rose Moon and Flower Moon.

Are Strawberry Moons red or pink in color?

Sometimes. But Strawberry Moons are not necessarily red or pink in color just because they occur in June.  Like any full moon, the moon can appear reddish-pink which is caused by atmospheric conditions on Earth or a partial lunar eclipse. Strawberry Moons can also appear brown-red in color during a total lunar eclipse.  More than likely, the Full Moon on June 9, 2017 will appear the usual pearly-gray to most locations on Earth. 

Image credit: NASA (red added by Brevard Times)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Full Moon Tonight: Wednesday, May 10, 2017


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a Full Moon on Sunday, Wednesday, May 10, 2017, beginning with a moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean at 7:58 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (with a few minutes of variation depending on your exact location).


The Full Moon will be 99.7% full tonight before it sets the following morning at 7:15 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

For those planning a moonlit stroll along the beach on Florida's East Coast, this Full Moon brings along with it a 3'9" Atlantic Ocean high tide that will occur around 8:37 p.m. EDT (with a slight time and height variation depending on your exact location).

During the spring and summer months, a Full Moon also draws out increased sea turtle hatching and nesting activity on Florida's beaches at night. So, watch your step when walking along the beach.


Why is this Full Moon in May named the Flower Moon or Corn-planting Moon?

These full moon names are associated with seasonal occurrences that happen in May. Summer flowers begin to bloom in May which is why it is called a Flower Moon.  Corn-planting Moon gets its name from the start of corn planting that happen in May.

Image Credit: NASA

Friday, April 28, 2017

New U.S. Stamp Will Change Color When You Touch It

The U.S. Postal Service will soon release a first-of-its-kind stamp that changes when you
touch it.



The Total Solar Eclipse Forever stamp, which commemorates the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse over the United States, transforms into an image of the Moon from the heat of a finger.

A Total Solar Eclipse has not been seen on the U.S. mainland since 1979. And this eclipse will travel a narrow path across the entire country for the first time since 1918. The path will run west to east from Oregon to South Carolina and will include portions of 14 states.

A First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place at the Art Museum of the University of Wyoming on June 20, 2017, which also happens to be the date of the Summer Solstice.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Full Pink Moon Tonight, April 11, 2017

Full Pink Moon: Credit NASA


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a Full Moon tonight on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, that is called a Pink Moon. Because Passover and Easter occur in April in 2017, this particular moon is also known as an "Easter Moon" and "The Paschal Moon."


When will the Pink Moon happen?


The 2017 Pink Moon will begin with a moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean off the U.S. east coast at 8:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time with a slight time variation depending on the viewer's exact location. The Moon will be 99.9% full that night before setting the following morning at 8:01 a.m.

What does the Pink Moon mean?


A Full Moon in April is also called a Pink Moon because Colonial Americans learned that name from Native Americans who associated the April Full Moon with the blooming of pink flowers in early Spring named wild ground phlox, according to the Farmer's Almanac. Other names for April's Full Moon are also associated with Springtime: Full Sprouting Grass Moon (sprouting vegetation in Spring), Egg Moon (animal mating in Spring), and Full Fish Moon (when fish spawn in spring).


What causes a Pink Moon?


The time of year that a Full Moon happens does not affect its color.  The Full Moon on April 11, 2017 will likely be pearly-gray to most locations on Earth just like any other Full Moon. But particles in the local atmosphere caused by weather, forest fires, volcanoes, and pollution can filter out certain light colors of the moon. This is especially true when the moon rises or sets near the horizon and the sunlight reflecting from the moon has more atmosphere to travel through before reaching the viewer on Earth. Full Moons have appeared pink, yellow, red, blue, green, and (most often) orange. 

Below is a video of an April Full Moon that was pink when it first appeared over the Atlantic Ocean horizon. The Moon then changed from pink to orange (and later yellow) as it rose higher in the sky.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Full Moon Tonight: Sunday, March 12, 2017


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- A Full Moon can be seen on Sunday, March 12, 2017, beginning with a moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean at 7:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (with a few minutes of variation depending on your exact location).

The Full Moon will be 99.8% full that night before it sets the following Monday morning at 8:16 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.  A Full Moon in March has seasonal names such as a "Worm's Moon" or "Lenten Moon."

This is the last Full Moon of the astronomical Winter before the Spring Equinox occurs on Monday, March 20, 2017.

For those planning a moonlit stroll along the beach on Florida's East Coast, this Full Moon brings along with it a 3'9" Atlantic Ocean high tide that will occur around 8:46 p.m. EDT (with a slight time and height variation depending on your exact location).  A very low tide will occur at 2:55 a.m. Monday morning.

Image Credit: NASA

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Full Moon Tonight: January 12, 2017

Full Moon

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- The first Full Moon of 2017 will occur tonight on Thursday, January 12, 2017, beginning with a moonrise over the Atlantic at 6:18 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (with a few minutes of variation depending on your exact location).


The Full Moon will technically be 99.8% full at 12:13 a.m. before it sets the following Friday morning at 8:03 a.m.  A Full Moon in January has seasonal names such as a "Wolf's Moon" or "Old Moon."

For those planning a moonlit stroll along the beach on the U.S. East Coast, this Full Moon brings along with it a 3'9" Atlantic Ocean high tide that will occur around 7:33 p.m. (with a slight time and height variation depending on your exact location).  A very low tide will occur at 12:55 a.m. Friday morning.

Image Credit: NASA

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Biggest Supermoon In 70 Years Tonight

Supermoon Tonight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a Full Moon tonight, Sunday, November 13, 2016 - but not just any Full Moon, this will be the biggest Supermoon in 68 years. This Supermoon will appear 15% larger and 30% brighter than regular Full Moons.


A Supermoon occurs because the Moon is in an elliptical orbit around the Earth.  When the Moon is closest to Earth, it is at its orbital perigee, which is why a Supermoon is also known as a Perigee Moon. The November 2016 Supermoon will be the closest approach to the Earth so far during this century.

When does the Supermoon begin?

The November 2016 Supermoon begins with a moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean on Florida's east coast at 5:11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

The Moon will be at its fullest (99.6% full) the following morning at 8:52 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, November 14, 2016.  However, the Moon will set two hours beforehand at 6:35 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

When is the best time to watch the Supermoon?  

Low-hanging moons near the horizon appear the biggest to humans.  So the Supermoon will appear biggest to the naked eye on the Florida east coast:

During and just after the moonrise at 5:11 p.m. on November 13.

Just before and during the moonset at 6:35 a.m. on November 14.

During and just after the moonrise at 6:02 p.m. on November 14.



Will The Supermoon Cause Higher Tides? 


Yes. The Supermoon will cause higher than normal tides. For those planning a stroll along the beach to watch the moonrise over the ocean, this Supermoon will cause a nearly 5-foot high tide during the moonrises and moonset.


Why is a Full  Moon in November Called a Beaver Moon?

A Full Moon in November has seasonal names such as a "Beaver's Moon" or "Frosty Moon" to indicate that it was the last time to catch Beavers for their fur as winter approaches.

Photo credit: NASA

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Biggest Super Moon In A Lifetime On November 13, 2016


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a Full Moon on the night of November 13-14, 2016, but not just any Full Moon, it will be the largest Supermoon in 68 years. This Supermoon will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than normal Full Moons.


A Supermoon occurs because the Moon is in an elliptical orbit around the Earth.  When the Moon is closest, it is at its orbital perigee, which is why a Supermoon is also known as a Perigee Moon. The November 2016 Supermoon will be the closest approach to the Earth so far during the 21st Century.

When does the Supermoon begin?

The November 2016 Supermoon begins with a moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean on Florida's east coast at 5:11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

The Moon will be at its fullest (99.6% full) the following morning at 8:52 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, November 14, 2016.  However, the Moon will set two hours beforehand at 6:35 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

When is the best time to watch the Supermoon?  

Low-hanging moons near the horizon appear larger to humans.  So the Supermoon will appear biggest to the naked eye on the Florida east coast:

During and just after the moonrise at 5:11 p.m. on November 13.

Just before and during the moonset at 6:35 a.m. on November 14.

During and just after the moonrise at 6:02 p.m. on November 14.



Will The Supermoon Cause Higher Tides? 


Yes. The Supermoon will cause higher than normal tides. For those planning a stroll along the beach to watch the Supermoon rise over the ocean, this Full Moon brings along with it a nearly 5-foot high tide during the moonrises and moonset.


Why is November's Full  Moon Called a Beaver Moon?

A Full Moon in November has seasonal names such as a "Beaver's Moon" or "Frosty Moon" to indicate that it was the last time to catch Beavers for their fur as winter approaches.


Photo and video credit: NASA

Friday, September 16, 2016

2016 Harvest Moon Tonight Is A Supermoon


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a Full Moon tonight, Friday, September 16, 2016. But not just any Full Moon. This Full Moon is a Harvest Moon that also happens to be a Supermoon.

What Time Is The September 2016 Harvest Moon?

On the Florida's east coast, the Harvest Moon will rise over the Atlantic Ocean around 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on September 16 and set the following morning just before 8 a.m., with some slight time variation (+/- 20 minutes) depending on the viewer's exact location.  

When is the best time to watch the Supermoon?

Low hanging moons near the horizon appear larger to humans.  So, the Supermoon will appear biggest to the naked eye on the U.S east coast during and just after the moonrise.

Why is September's Full  Moon Called a Harvest Moon?

The Harvest Moon gets its name from agriculture.  In the days before electric lights, farmers depended on bright moonlight to extend the workday beyond sunset.  It was the only way they could gather their ripening crops in time for market.  The Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox became "the Harvest Moon."

Usually, the Harvest Moon arrives a few days to weeks before or after the beginning of fall. This year, the Autumn Equinox and changing of the calendar seasons will occur on September 22, 2016. Equinox means "equal night" in Latin, capturing the idea that daytime and nighttime are equal lengths everywhere on the planet.

Image credit: NASA

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Moon Express Becomes First Private Company Approved To Land On Moon


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the first first private company, Moon Express, to land a spacecraft on the Moon.

"The FAA has determined that the launch of the payload does not jeopardize public health and safety, safety of property, U.S. national security or foreign policy interests, or international obligations of the United States," the federal agency stated on Wednesday.

Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty signed by the United States, Soviet Union, and United Kingdom, requires that “The activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty.”




The FAA consulted with the Department of State as to the relevant portions of the Treaty and considered comments from the Department as part of the payload determination. The FAA and Department of State concluded that Moon Express' proposed missions are in compliance with Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty. However, the FAA noted that this determination does not extend to future missions by Moon Express, Inc. or similar missions from other entities.  Any future requests for a payload determination from Moon Express or another entity will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Moon Express plans to launch three robotic spacecraft to land on the Moon starting in 2017. But the missions will not disturb and historic Apollo landing sites. In 2012, NASA issued a detailed publication titled: "NASA’s Recommendations to Space-Faring Entities: How to Protect and Preserve the Historic and Scientific Value of U.S. Government Lunar Artifacts" which lays out recommendations to future lunar missions where not to go, or disturb, prior U.S.  Lunar Mission sites.

"NASA recognizes the steadily increasing technical capabilities of space-faring commercial entities and nations throughout the world, and further recognizes that many are on the verge of landing spacecraft on the surface of the moon," the U.S. space agency noted in the publication. "In the 50 years since the first lunar missions, the spaceflight community has not formally provided recommendations to the next generation of lunar explorers on how to preserve the original artifacts and protect ongoing science from the potentially damaging effects of nearby landers."

Moon Express said the the company is focused on building a sustainable, full-service space exploration business, is also pursuing the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, a competition to land a privately funded spacecraft on the Moon, travel 500 meters and transmit back high-definition video and images to Earth. The company was awarded $1 million by Google earlier this year as the only team to flight test a prototype of its lander.

"Our goal is to blaze a trail to the Moon to unlock its mysteries and resources so we can improve life on Earth," said Moon Express Co-Founder and CEO Bob Richards.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Moon Photobombs Satellite Imagery Of Earth

Moon photobombs Earth

For the second time in a year, the Moon has photobombed a NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth on Jul 4-5, 2016.

"For the second time in the life of DSCOVR, the moon moved between the spacecraft and Earth,” said Adam Szabo, DSCOVR project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "The project recorded this event on July 5 with the same cadence and spatial resolution as the first ‘lunar photobomb’ of last year."







The images were captured by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four-megapixel CCD camera and telescope on the DSCOVR satellite orbiting 1 million miles from Earth. From its position between the sun and Earth, DSCOVR conducts its primary mission of real-time solar wind monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The satellite is orbiting around the sun-Earth first Lagrange point (where the gravitational pull of Earth is equal and opposite of that of the sun) in a complex, non-recurring orbit that changes from an ellipse to a circle and back (called a Lissajous orbit) taking the spacecraft between 4 and 12 degrees from the sun-Earth line. This orbit intersects the lunar orbit about four times a year. However, depending on the relative orbital phases of the moon and DSCOVR, the moon appears between the spacecraft and Earth once or twice a year.

The last time EPIC captured this event was between 3:50 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. EDT on July 16, 2015.

Image Credits: NASA/NOAA

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

VIDEO: Strawberry Full Moon Rises During Summer Solstice 2016

Strawberry Moon On Summer Solstice 2016

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -  A Strawberry Full Moon occurred during the Summer Solstice on June 20, 2016 - a nearly once-in-a-lifetime event that hasn't happened since 1967. A Full Moon during Summer Solstice won't happen again until 2062.

The Strawberry Moon rose over the Atlantic Ocean on Florida's east coast around 8:34 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, June 20, 2016.


Why is this Full Moon called a Strawberry Moon?

According to Native American folklore, a full moon in June is called a Strawberry Moon because the short season for harvesting strawberries comes during that summer month. Other names for the first full moon is June are Rose Moon and Flower Moon.

Are Strawberry Moons red or pink in color?

Sometimes. But Strawberry Moons are not necessarily red or pink in color just because they occur in June.  Like any full moon, the moon can appear reddish-pink which is caused by atmospheric conditions on Earth or a partial lunar eclipse. Strawberry Moons can also appear brown-red in color during a total lunar eclipse.

What is the Summer Solstice?

The Summer Solstice is the shortest night and longest day of the year on Earth's northern hemisphere for locations like Melbourne, Florida, but the reverse in the southern hemisphere for locations like Melbourne, Australia. During the Summer Solstice, the Sun sits above the Tropic of Cancer, spreading more sunlight in the north and turning the tables on the south.


A Summer Solstice can occur on June 20, 21, or 22, depending on calendar events such as leap year and when the Solstice begins relative to Coordinated Universal Time.



Photo and video credit: Brevard Times

Monday, June 20, 2016

'Strawberry' Full Moon Tonight On Summer Solstice 2016: Hasn't Happened Since 1967

Strawberry' Full Moon Tonight During Summer Solstice 2016

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a Full Moon tonight, Monday, June 20, 2016. But not just any Full Moon. This Full Moon is a Strawberry Moon that also happens to occur during the Summer Solstice - an event that has not occurred since 1967 and will not occur again until 2062.

Tonight's Strawberry Moon begins with a moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean on Florida's east coast around 8:34 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on June 20, 2016 (with plus or minus a few minutes depending on your exact location along Florida's east coast). 

The moon will be at its fullest (99.8% full) the following morning at 1:12 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, June 21, 2016.  The Strawberry Moon will set at 7:33 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday. 

Why is this Full Moon called a Strawberry Moon?




According to Native American folklore, a full moon in June is called a Strawberry Moon because the short season for harvesting strawberries comes during that summer month. Other names for the first full moon is June are Rose Moon and Flower Moon.

Are Strawberry Moons red or pink in color?

Sometimes. But Strawberry Moons are not necessarily red or pink in color just because they occur in June.  Like any full moon, the moon can appear reddish-pink which is caused by atmospheric conditions on Earth or a partial lunar eclipse. Strawberry Moons can also appear brown-red in color during a total lunar eclipse.  More than likely, the Full Moon on June 20, 2016 will appear the usual pearly-gray to most locations on Earth. 

What is the Summer Solstice?

The Summer Solstice is the shortest night and longest day of the year on Earth's northern hemisphere for locations like Melbourne, Florida, but the reverse in the southern hemisphere for locations like Melbourne, Australia. During the Summer Solstice, the Sun sits above the Tropic of Cancer, spreading more sunlight in the north and turning the tables on the south.

However, it is not the Sun that is moving north or south through the seasons, but a change in the orientation and angles between the Earth and its nearest star. The axis of the Earth is tilted 23.5 degrees relative to the Sun and the ecliptic plane. The axis is tilted away from the Sun at the December solstice and toward the Sun at the June solstice, spreading more and less light on each hemisphere. At the equinoxes, the tilt is at a right angle to the Sun and the light is spread evenly.

A Summer Solstice can occur on June 20, 21, or 22, depending on calendar events such as leap year and when the Solstice begins relative to Coordinated Universal Time.

In 2016, the Summer Solstice, will occur on Monday, June 20, 2016 at 12:38 Eastern Daylight Time (22:34 Universal Time), according to the U.S. Naval Observatory.

Cultural Events During Summer Solstice

Several celebrations going back to primitive times center around the Summer Solstice because the apparent change in location of the Sun and Moon marks important dates for hunting and farming as evidenced by the astronomic architectural designs at Stonehenge in England and Mayan and Aztec pyramids in Central and South America. In modern times, International Surfing Day - a very sunny sport - is celebrated on Summer Solstice.

How can the Summer Solstice be the First Day of Summer and Midsummer at the same time? 

The difference lies in the definitions created by culture, agriculture and astronomy. According to NASA and astronomical institutions, June 20th marks the beginning of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of winter in the Southern Hemisphere in 2016.   

The official start and end of summer can vary by country - not because summer starts a week or so earlier in one country than another in the same hemisphere, but because the recognition of the start of summer is often influenced by historical or cultural reasons particular to that country.  Most countries recognize summer as starting on dates ranging in May and ending sometime in August. 

Although the June Solstice marks the beginning of Northern summer, it is often called Midsummer. In traditional Gaelic culture, the Summer Solstice represented the mid-point between the commencement of the Celtic Summer on May 1 and autumn on August 1.     

But I thought June, July and August were the Summer months?

They can be if your culture or country recognizes those months as summer.  In the U.S., those months have become associated with summer because school vacation (a.k.a Summer Break) has traditionally taken place during those months.   But the choice of those months were influenced by the agriculture harvest seasons to allow children to help on the family farm and not due to the official beginning and end of the summer season.

Why is there a lag time between the hottest days of Summer and the Solstice?  


Blame the oceans, which heat up and cool down only slowly.   By June 20 they are still cool from the winter time, and that delays the peak heat by about a month and a half.  Similarly, in December the water still holds warmth from the Summer, and the coldest days are still (on the average - not always) a month and a half ahead.

The 2016 Summer Solstice marks the highest exposure of the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to the Sun's heating radiation.  The rise in ocean temperatures then provides the energy necessary to produce stronger hurricanes later in the year, usually around September.

Image credit: NASA (red added by Brevard Times)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Blue Moon Tonight, Saturday, May 21, 2016

Blue Moon tonight, Saturday, May 21, 2016

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - There will be a Blue Moon tonight, Saturday, May 21, 2016, which is a Full Moon that is also known as the Flower Moon, Milk Moon, or Corn-planting Moon.

What time is the Blue Moon tonight?


Tonight's Blue Moon begins with a moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean at 8:04 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, May 21, 2016, which sets the following morning at 7:12 a.m. (with a few minutes of variation depending on your exact location in Florida or several minutes along the rest of the U.S. east coast). The exact time for moonrises by city can be found on the U.S. Naval Observatory's website.

According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, this Blue Moon will technically be 99% full at 5:14 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Where to watch the Blue Moon tonight:

The Blue Moon can be seen from anywhere on Earth, unless there is local cloud coverage. For those planning a moonlit stroll along the beach on Florida's Space Coast, this Full Moon creates a 3'9" Atlantic Ocean high tide that will occur around 8:38 p.m., with a few minutes of variation depending on your exact location.

How often is there a Blue Moon?

Blue Moons occur when there is a second full moon in a calendar month or when a season has four full moons.  Full moons are separated by 29 days but seasons are 88 to 92 days long - so it is possible to fit four full moons into a single season. This happens just over two-and-a-half years, on average. When there are four full moons in a season, the third full moon is considered a Blue Moon.

This is why the phrase "Once in a Blue Moon" is commonly known to mean something rare and offbeat because of the rare occurrence of a Blue Moon.

Does the Blue Moon look blue?

The date of a full moon doesn't affect the full moon's color.  The Full Moon on Saturday, May 21, 2016 will be pearly-gray to most locations on Earth, as usual.

According to NASA, the key to a moon appearing blue is to have lots of particles slightly wider than the wavelength of red light (0.7 micron) and no other sizes present in the air.  This is rare, but volcanoes sometimes produce such clouds, as do forest fires.

Humans saw blue moons almost every night when the Krakatoa volcano exploded in 1883 with the force of a 100-megaton nuclear bomb.   Plumes of ash rose to the very top of Earth's atmosphere.   Some of the ash-clouds were filled with particles about 1 micron wide - just the right size to strongly scatter red light, while allowing other colors to pass.  White moonbeams shining through the clouds emerged blue, and sometimes green.  People also saw blue-colored Moons in 1983 after the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico. And there are reports of blue Moons caused by Mt. St. Helens in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991.

Why is this Full Moon in May named the Flower Moon or Corn-planting Moon?

These full moon names are associated with seasonal occurrences that happen in May. Summer flowers begin to bloom in May which is why it is called a Flower Moon.  Corn-planting Moon gets its name from the start of corn planting that happen in May.

Image Credit: NASA (blue enhanced by Brevard Times)

Friday, April 22, 2016

VIDEO: Full Pink Moon

Full Pink Moon: Credit NASA


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a Full Moon tonight on Friday, April 22, 2016 that is also known as a Pink Moon.

What time is tonight's Pink Moon?


Tonight's Pink Moon will begin with a moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean on the U.S. east coast at 8:25 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time with a slight time variation depending on the viewer's exact location.

Is the April 2016 Full Moon supposed to be pink tonight?


A Full Moon in April is also called a Pink Moon.  But the time of year that a Full Moon appears does not affect its color.  A Full Moon in April is called a Pink Moon because Colonial Americans learned that name from Native Americans who associated the April Full Moon with the blooming of pink flowers in Spring, according to the Farmer's Amanac. Other names for April's Full Moon are also associated with Springtime: Full Sprouting Grass Moon (spouting vegetation in Spring), Egg Moon (animal mating in Spring), and Full Fish Moon (when fish spawn in spring).


Will tonight's Full Moon be Pink?


The Full Moon on April 22, 2016 will likely be pearly-gray to most locations on Earth just like any other Full Moon.  But particles in the local atmosphere caused by weather, forest fires, volcanoes, and pollution can filter out certain colors of the moon. This is especially true when the moon rises or sets near the horizon and the sunlight reflecting from the moon has more atmosphere to travel through before reaching the viewer on Earth. Moons have appeared pink, yellow, red, blue, green, and (most often) orange. 

Below is a video of an April Full Moon that first appeared to be pink when it first appeared over the horizon. The Moon then changed from pink to orange (and later yellow) as it rose higher in the sky.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November Full Moon on Thanksgiving Morning

Full Moon
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a Full Moon overnight on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 25, 2015, beginning with a moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean at 5:37 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (with a few minutes of variation depending on your exact location). 

The Full Moon will technically be 99.7% full at 12:29 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning before it sets at 7:23 a.m. on Thursday, November 26, 2015. A Full Moon in November has seasonal names such as a "Beaver's Moon" or "Frosty Moon."

For those planning a moonlit stroll along the beach on the U.S. East Coast, this Full Moon brings along with it a 4.5-foot  Atlantic Ocean high tide that will occur around 7 p.m. on November 25, with a few minutes of variation depending on your exact location.  Another 4.8 ft. high tide will occur around 7:35 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

Image Credit: NASA 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse This Weekend

Lunar Eclipse. Credit: NASA.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- A special lunar eclipse will occur on the night of Sunday, September 27, 2015 and into the morning of September 28, 2015.  This lunar eclipse is rare because it is the last in a series of Tetrad 'Blood Moons' and is also a super moon, the largest Full Moon of the year.

A super moon lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth during the eclipse. This event requires the alignment of three astronomical cycles that only happens once every 18 years and 11 days, according to NASA.

September's lunar eclipse is also special because it is the last of four consecutive full lunar eclipses in 2014 and 2015 that make up a Tetrad.  For some believers in Christian prophecy, these four Blood Moons mark the beginning of the end of the world.


What Time Is The September 2015 "Blood Moon" Lunar Eclipse?

The lunar eclipse will occur on the night of September 27 and the morning of September 28, depending on the viewer's time zone.

On the U.S. East Coast, the lunar eclipse will begin at just after 9 p.m. EDT and ends around 12:30 a.m. EDT on the morning of September 28th, with some slight time variation depending on the viewer's exact location. The total lunar eclipse, when the moon is expected to turn into a dark-copper red Blood Moon, will occur between 10:00 p.m. and 12 p.m. EDT, depending on the viewer's exact location in the eastern U.S.


When is the best time to watch the Super Moon?

Low hanging moons near the horizon appear larger to humans.  So, the Super Moon will appear biggest to the naked eye on the U.S east coast during and just after the moonrise around 7:00 p.m. on September 27th, 2015 (with a few minutes of variation depending on your exact location). 


Why is September's Full  Moon Called a Harvest Moon?

The Harvest Moon gets its name from agriculture.  In the days before electric lights, farmers depended on bright moonlight to extend the workday beyond sunset.  It was the only way they could gather their ripening crops in time for market.  The Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox became "the Harvest Moon," and it was always a welcome sight.

Usually, the Harvest Moon arrives a few days to weeks before or after the beginning of fall.  This year, the Autumn Equinox and changing of the calendar seasons will occur on September 23, 2014.  Equinox means "equal night" in Latin, capturing the idea that daytime and nighttime are equal lengths everywhere on the planet.


2015 Autumn Equinox, Harvest Moon, and Daylight Savings Time

Naturally, many people think that with the changing of the seasons comes the changing of their clocks at the beginning of Fall 2015.  But this is not the case. It is true however, that a helpful way to remember whether to set our clocks ahead or behind one hour during the daylight savings time is to "Fall Back" and "Spring Ahead."

The beginning of Fall 2015 does not mean the end of 2015 Daylight Savings Time.  Daylight Savings Time occurs after the 2015 Autumn Equinox and Harvest Moon when days become shorter and shorter heading closer to the Winter Solstice.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Super Moon Lunar Eclipse This Weekend

Lunar Eclipse. Credit: NASA.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- A special lunar eclipse will occur on the night of Sunday, September 27, 2015 and into the morning of September 28, 2015.  This lunar eclipse is rare because it is the last in a series of Tetrad 'Blood Moons' and is also a super moon, the largest Full Moon of the year.

A super moon lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth during the eclipse. This event requires the alignment of three astronomical cycles that only happens once every 18 years and 11 days, according to NASA.

September's lunar eclipse is also special because it is the last of four consecutive full lunar eclipses in 2014 and 2015 that make up a Tetrad.  For some believers in Christian prophecy, these four Blood Moons mark the beginning of the end of the world.


What Time Is The September 2015 "Blood Moon" Lunar Eclipse?

The lunar eclipse will occur on the night of September 27 and the morning of September 28, depending on the viewer's time zone.

On the U.S. East Coast, the lunar eclipse will begin at just after 9 p.m. EDT and ends around 12:30 a.m. EDT on the morning of September 28th, with some slight time variation depending on the viewer's exact location. The total lunar eclipse, when the moon is expected to turn into a dark-copper red Blood Moon, will occur between 10:00 p.m. and 12 p.m. EDT, depending on the viewer's exact location in the eastern U.S.


When is the best time to watch the Super Moon?

Low hanging moons near the horizon appear larger to humans.  So, the Super Moon will appear biggest to the naked eye on the U.S east coast during and just after the moonrise around 7:00 p.m. on September 27th, 2015 (with a few minutes of variation depending on your exact location). 


Why is September's Full  Moon Called a Harvest Moon?

The Harvest Moon gets its name from agriculture.  In the days before electric lights, farmers depended on bright moonlight to extend the workday beyond sunset.  It was the only way they could gather their ripening crops in time for market.  The Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox became "the Harvest Moon," and it was always a welcome sight.

Usually, the Harvest Moon arrives a few days to weeks before or after the beginning of fall.  This year, the Autumn Equinox and changing of the calendar seasons will occur on September 23, 2014.  Equinox means "equal night" in Latin, capturing the idea that daytime and nighttime are equal lengths everywhere on the planet.


2015 Autumn Equinox, Harvest Moon, and Daylight Savings Time

Naturally, many people think that with the changing of the seasons comes the changing of their clocks at the beginning of Fall 2015.  But this is not the case. It is true however, that a helpful way to remember whether to set our clocks ahead or behind one hour during the daylight savings time is to "Fall Back" and "Spring Ahead."

The beginning of Fall 2015 does not mean the end of 2015 Daylight Savings Time.  Daylight Savings Time occurs after the 2015 Autumn Equinox and Harvest Moon when days become shorter and shorter heading closer to the Winter Solstice.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

VIDEO: Full Moon Tonight Is A "Blue Moon"

Blue Moon

Blue Moon Tonight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - There will be a Full Moon tonight - but not just any Full Moon - it is a Blue Moon that is also known as a Thunder Moon or Buck Moon. 

When can I watch the Blue Moon tonight?

This Full Moon begins with a moonrise over the Atlanitc Ocean at 7:34 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, July 30, 2015 (with a slight deviation in time depending on your exact location along Florida's East Coast). The Moon will be technically full at 6:42 a.m. EDT the following Friday morning on July 31, 2015, and will be 99.8% full at 1:12 a.m. EDT during the meridian passing.


Where can I watch the Blue Moon?

The Full Moon can be seen from anywhere on Earth, unless there is local cloud coverage. For those planning a stroll along the beach to watch the Full Moon, it comes with a 4-foot high tide that will occur around 7:53 p.m. EDT.

How often do Blue Moons Occur?

A Blue Moon is the second full moon in a calendar month.  Full moons are separated by 29 days but most months are 30 or 31 days long - so it is possible to fit two full moons in a single month occasionally. This happens every two and a half years, on average.

The phrase "Once in a Blue Moon" is commonly known to mean something rare and offbeat because of the rare occurrence of a Blue Moon.


 

Will the Blue Moon Appear Blue?

The date of a full moon doesn't affect the full moon's color.  The Full Moon on July 31, 2015 will be pearly-gray to most locations on Earth, as usual.

According to NASA, the key to a moon appearing blue is to have lots of particles slightly wider than the wavelength of red light (0.7 micron)and no other sizes present in the air.  This is rare, but volcanoes sometimes produce such clouds, as do forest fires.

In California, there will be several wildfires still burning on July 31, 2015.  If any of those fires produce ash or oily-smoke containing lots of 1-micron particles, the Blue Moon there could appear blue.  More likely, the Moon will be red.  Ash and dust clouds thrown into the atmosphere by fires and storms usually contain a mixture of particles with a wide range of sizes.  Most are smaller than 1 micron, and they tend to scatter blue light.  This makes the Moon appear to turn red.  Red Blue Moons are far more common than blue Blue Moons, according to NASA.

Humans did see blue moons almost every night when the Krakatoa volcano exploded in 1883 with the force of a 100-megaton nuclear bomb.   Plumes of ash rose to the very top of Earth's atmosphere.   Some of the ash-clouds were filled with particles about 1 micron wide - the right size to strongly scatter red light, while allowing other colors to pass.  White moonbeams shining through the clouds emerged blue, and sometimes green.  People also saw blue-colored Moons in 1983 after the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico. And there are reports of blue Moons caused by Mt. St. Helens in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991.


If it isn't blue, why is the second Moon in a month called a Blue Moon?

The modern definition began in the 1940's. Back then, the Maine Farmer's Almanac offered a definition of Blue Moon so convoluted that many astronomers struggled to understand it. It involved factors such as ecclesiastical dates of Easter and Lent, tropical years, and the timing of seasons according to the dynamical mean Sun. In an attempt to explain blue moons to laypeople, Sky & Telescope published an article in 1946 entitled "Once in a Blue Moon." The author James Hugh Pruett (1886-1955) cited the 1937 Maine almanac and opined that the "second [full moon] in a month, so I interpret it, is called Blue Moon."

Although it was an incorrect interpretation, it could at least be understood by everyone. And the modern definition of a Blue Moon was born.


Why is this Full Moon also called a Thunder Moon or Buck Moon?

These moon names are associated with seasonal occurrences that happen in July.  Male deer, known as bucks, begin to sprout their antlers which is why it is called a Buck Moon.  Thunder Moon gets its name from the summer thunderstorms that happen in July.


Article based on NASA publications.

Image Credit: NASA (blue enhanced by Brevard Times)