If You Miss January 2018's Blue Moon, Don’t Worry — There Will Be Another This Year

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I think we can all agree that 2017 was not the best year. But, with it finally in the rear mirror, we can all look ahead at the potential 2018 offers. So far, we've started off pretty strong with a super moon, a coast-wide snow day, and a blue moon/blood moon/lunar eclipse on deck — and now, we've got a lot more to look forward to, according to astronomers. One of those things happens to be another blue moon in 2018 — yes, in addition to the one already set to occur on Jan. 31. I know: 2018 is so jam-packed with epic celestial events that the phrase "once in a blue moon" is really going to lose its effect! That said, let's just try not to get too spoiled and remember to appreciate all of the special star stuff coming our way — not every year will be this spectacular. But hey, after all the terrible things that happened in 2017, we deserve some rare magic, don't we?.

To fully appreciate how special these lunar events are, it's important to understand the complex meaning of the blue moon. In short, it generally happens every two and a half years. This is because there are 29.5 days between each full moon, so every two and half years, the lunar calendar syncs up in a way that months which hold 30 or 31 days and have a full moon at the start of the month would feature two full moons, while February with its 28 days would include none. In these terms, the phrase "once in a blue moon" makes sense — a blue moon happens every two and a half years, which is pretty rare! Well, rare-ish.

As you likely already know, Jan. 2018 will play host to two full moons, meaning the second will be a blue moon. But, what you might not know is that March will also host two full moons — meaning 2018 will include two blue moons, and they'll only be occurring two months apart. Now, something like this happening is rare: Two blue moons occurring in the same year, mere months apart, won't happen again in both January and March until 2037 — which is 19 years from now. So, while a blue moon might not be a rare event, a double blue moon most certainly is.

Here's a bit more perspective: The last blue moon occurred on Jul. 31, 2015. The two and a half years that passed between 2015's blue moon and Jan. 2018's blue moon is actually very typical. But having a year that holds two blue moons, is a bit more rare. This event hasn't happened since "the double blue moons" occurred in Jan. and Mar. of 1999 — which is maybe why they partied so much that year, and also definitely why we should party so much this year. Just a thought.

So, with that in mind, perhaps "twice in a blue moon" would be the most factual use of the phrase if we're talking about using it to mean something rare. Yeah, the normal two and a half years between blue moons is a while to wait, but 19 years between double blue moons? Now that's rare. And with these two epic events happening only two months apart? That's extra rare. So, that in mind, you'll have make sure you figure out how to take a solid moon pic on your phone, and use these celestial events as great excuses to reflect on how your living your life — and make sure it's to the kindest and the fullest.