Waiting for a blue moon? Tuesday could be your night

With a bit of in-camera color adjustment, you can capture a blue moon like this one from November 2012.

(Credit: Tim Hornyak/CNET)

If you’ve been waiting for a rarity to come along, keep your gaze skyward. Tuesday’s moon is not only full, it’s a blue moon.

That is, if you disregard a commonly accepted definition of a blue moon as being a second full moon in a calendar month. A real blue moon, according to purists, is the third full moon in a season of four full moons, which is one more than the standard.

The confusion has been attributed to a 1946 article in “Sky & Telescope” magazine defining a blue moon as the second in a month. The publication has since described that as “a mistake.”

The error has stuck, however, and so many sky-watchers and sources like Britannica will only call the second full moon in a calendar month a blue moon.

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