How to spot the rare Blue Moon in UK skies this weekend

You’ll be able to spot the spectacular Blue Moon from the UK this weekend – but what is a blue moon and when can you see it?

A very rare Blue Moon will be making an appearance this weekend in an event that only takes place every few years.

The last Blue Moon was seen recently – on the night of Halloween back in 2020, however the phenomenon has come around again much quicker than expected.

Making its appearance on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 August – the moon will be near both Jupiter and Saturn and will be the third full moon of the summer season.

You will be able to spot the Blue Moon on Saturday during its moonrise at 8:22 pm.

On Sunday you will be able to see the Blue moon again during its moonrise at 8:45 pm.

What is a Blue Moon?

Despite its name, the moon will not be blue, but for about 15 minutes it will display orange colours, turning to a pale yellow as it rises higher.

After this, it will begin to appear as a bright, white/grey colour.

Explaining why these colours appear Forbes said “Colours in the sun’s light with short wavelengths, such as blue, strike more particles and are therefore more often absorbed.

“They scatter more easily, which is why the sky is blue during the day. Colours with longer wavelengths, such orange, more easily pass through the atmosphere uninhibited”.

Adding “When you look at moonrise you’re looking across the planet so you’re looking through a lot of atmosphere”.

Why is it called a Blue Moon?

The Blue Moon term dates back hundreds of years to a time when many believed it to be something rare.

It’s believed that the term originated from the fact that smoke and ash from volcanic eruptions cause the moon to go blue.

It’s very rare that the moon would look blue, Nasa explains “Most Blue Moons look pale gray and white, indistinguishable from any other moon you’ve ever seen.

However, Nasa later adds “However, be aware that on rare occasions it can happen”.