Second New Moon

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  • Member since
    May, 2005
Second New Moon
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, August 02, 2008 1:00 PM

Looking at my copy of the Old Farmer's Almanac, I noticed there will be two New Moon's this month.  The second Full Moon in a month is called a Blue Moon, but is there any special name for a second New Moon? 

I looked to see what is opposite the color wheel from the color blue - it's the color orange.  I don't like designating the 2nd new moon "Orange" because the moon actually does appear orange on other occasions.

 So, if there isn't a designation for the 2nd new moon, what would you like it called, other than "a second chance*"? 

* (A second chance for a new beginning.)

  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Centaur on Saturday, August 02, 2008 10:08 PM

Welcome to the discussion group, Starwind51. 

If you’d like such a phenomenon to be called something, why name it after a color when a color has nothing to do with the situation?  It would just confuse people, as does the illogical application of the word blue to the second Full Moon in a calendar month.  Something like your idea of a second chance might be a little more appropriate. 

The phrase Once in a Blue Moon originated early in the 19th century and was simply an analogy for anything that rarely or never happens, such as the case of the Moon appearing blue in color.  That was its common meaning when I was young.  A 1940’s suggestion in a minor almanac that a fourth Full Moon in a season should be called blue was largely ignored.  In 1961 a popular doo-wop song was Blue Moon.  During a 1961 national radio program discussion of popular music someone asked what is meant by a blue moon?  A participant answered that he thought it might have referred to the second Full Moon in a month.  The word spread from there giving that silly notion some currency.  A Sky & Telescope article further publicized that nonsensical use of the term.  Blame a writer who felt he had to fill a page with something. 

The second Full Moon of a month does not appear any more blue than any other Full Moon.  In fact, it is far more likely to be seen in the red-orange-yellow end of the spectrum when near the horizon and appear as white when higher.  This application of the term Blue Moon is ludicrous.  Yet hardly anyone questions it since we’ve heard it repeated so many times.  Unfortunately nowadays this means that we only hear the term used in its original sense once in a blue moon.

 

For astronomical graphics, including monthly wallpaper calendar, visit:

www.CurtRenz.com/astronomical


  • Member since
    December, 2005
Posted by Oliver Tunnah on Sunday, August 03, 2008 9:11 AM

 We could call it a Heaven's moon. God's gift once in a while. Plus we can actually see the heavens then. However something will have to be done about the clouds which gather near a new moon...

  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by boxcar dave on Sunday, August 03, 2008 7:31 PM

Good question, I also wondered when I saw there would be two New Moons in one month. I think you answered it at the end of your post, how about "Once in a second chance"? Someone would say, "what does that mean"? A pearson would answer, "it means, two New Moons in one month are rare, we don't always get a second chance".

  • Member since
    May, 2008
Posted by stargzr on Sunday, August 03, 2008 8:16 PM
the Wiccans call it a Black Moon.....this site gives a bit more info on the subject http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/scienceques2005/20051216.htm
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  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 05, 2008 10:34 PM

It's nice to know the phenomenon has been given consideration.  I only brought up a color name because of the name "Blue Moon".  Thanks, Stargzr, for the link to the Black Moon info.  

I think I'll just refer to it as a Chance Moon (as in second chance).  It does give a second chance for no-bright-moon observations. 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by Grant Miller on Monday, September 10, 2012 6:28 PM

Finder's Moon, Secret Moon, and Spinner Moon are three names that I have read about for the second new Moon in a month.

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