Blue moon brings luck, good catch to fishermenBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Friday night’s blue moon may have reflected the sober mood of the lovelorn, but this rare phenomenon probably brought luck and a good catch to fishermen.
According to Nathaniel Servando, who heads the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), the phenomenon traditionally associated with lost love and melancholy could have attracted more fish to the surface of coastal waters because of the extra illumination.
The Pagasa official said the term “blue moon” actually originated from folk tales. “Astronomers don’t really use the term,” he added of the phenomenon that has given rise to the phrase, “once in a blue moon” to describe something rare and unusual.
“The rotation of the moon around the Earth is not regular, not like how the earth rotates around the sun, which is why we get two full moons on rare occasions.”
According to modern folklore, whenever there are two full moons in a calendar month, the second one is considered a blue moon, the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) said.
There was a full moon on Aug. 1 and 2, and a second one on Aug. 31. Expect the next blue moon on June 15, 2015.
Pale gray and white
In an article on Nasa’s website, Dr. Tony Phillips said most blue moons look pale gray and white, “indistinguishable from any other moon you’ve ever seen. Squeezing a second full Moon into a calendar month doesn’t change the physical properties of the Moon itself, so its color remains the same.
“(But) although the blue moon is not technically blue, there are exceptional cases when it does turn blue, Phillips said.
“A truly-blue Moon usually requires a volcanic eruption. Back in 1883, for example, people
saw blue moons almost every night after the Indonesian volcano
Krakatoa exploded with the force of a 100-megaton nuclear bomb. Plumes of ash rose to the very top of Earth’s atmosphere, and the Moon… it turned blue!” he said.
Volcanic ash was the reason, Phillips said. “Some of the plumes were filled with particles 1 micron wide, about the same as the wavelength of red light.