Is Halloween Blue Moon really blue?

There has been a considerable amount of hype about the Halloween Blue Moon this year, a rarity occurring only every 20 years or so. The last one on record was in 2001 and the next one will be in 2039. Skywatchers (which I am not) apparently have been thrilled about this across the globe. I thought to myself: “Since this happens so rarely, why not capture this spectacular phenomenon on camera?”. Sooo….. I put the longest lens I had on my camera, waited patiently until all the clouds had gone away, and there it was a beautiful bright full moon as predicted. Really nice, yet, I somehow struggled to see much of a “blueness” about it. Just a normal silver moon as any other time. Hmmm.. is this really something you need to wait for 20 years?! I even suspected I was unable to see the “reality” of the Halloween Blue Moon due to some optical illusion. After all, human eye is so prone to misinterpretation of colours and shapes under certain circumstances. Well, in the end I decided to console myself by “correcting” my poor perception of reality in Photoshop. Finally, the moon is blue as it should be! Isn’t that something? I was very pleased with my blue moon achievement.

Halloween Blue Moon – 31 October 2020

However, the sense of achievement did not last long. The following day, just by chance, I read in an article that the term “blue moon” has a few meanings, one of them being the second full moon in a single calendar month. It can also mean something absurd or unreal. Very true, very true…. just goes to show to what extent human mind can try to bend reality to make it conform with what’s in our head.

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