Full Blue Moon will appear tonight – what it is and how to see it from the UK

Tonight, sky-gazers around the world will be treated to a stunning astronomical display, in the form of a Full Blue Moon.

While the name suggests that the moon will appear blue, this isn’t the case, and instead, the full moon will look bright white in the night sky.

The rare event only occurs every few years, so you don’t want to miss it!

Here’s everything you need to know about the Full Blue Moon, including what it is, and how you can see it from the UK.

When is the Full Blue Moon?

The Full Blue Moon will appear on the evening of May 18.

How to see the Full Blue Moon

For your best chance of seeing the Blue Moon, look to the skies from 21:11 BST.

If you can, head to an area with little light pollution – this will make the moon appear even brighter in the night sky!

While the nights are getting warmer here in the UK, it may be wise to bring layers, especially if you plan to stay outdoors for a while, admiring the moon.

What is a Full Blue Moon?

A full moon occurs when the moon is located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun, meaning its face is fully illuminated.

While this particular moon is known as a blue moon, it won't actually appear blue in the night sky.

Instead, it earns this name due to the fact that it’s the third of four full moons in this season.

Normally there are only three full moons in a season, making this a rare event – hence the phrase ‘once in a blue moon’.

NASA explained: "A blue moon is special because it is the 'extra' Moon in a season with four full moons. This usually only happens every two-and-a-half years.”

What else is it known as?

In early Native American tribes, this moon was known as the Full Flower Moon, because it appears in spring, as flowers also begin to bloom.

When is the next Full Blue Moon?

If you miss this full blue moon, you've got a while to wait to see one again.

The next full blue moon will take place on August 22, 2021.

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