Friday, August 31 marks the first blue moon to appear in the night sky for nearly 30 months.
The lunar event is available online for those not able to get a proper vantage point due to inclement weather. Slooh Space Camera will begin broadcasting this semi-rare event at 6 p.m. CST on Friday night. The Prescot Observatory in Arizona and an additional observatory located in the Canary Islands will offer duel feeds of the spectacle.
Friday’s showing of the blue moon is held in remembrance of fallen US astronaut Neil Armstrong. Neil Armstrong was made famous for his moonwalk, which marked the first presence of mankind on the satellite. Armstrong’s funeral is also being held on Friday.
Blue moons occur when two full moons occur in any given month. Full moons occur every 29 days, with the last occurrence on August 2. Friday’s full moon will mark the second full moon of the month. The next expected blue moon won’t occur until 2015.
Today’s popular understanding of the blue moon relates to a mistaken declaration reported by an amateur astronomer. James Pruett used “Once in a Blue Moon” to describe the phenomenon in error, but his mistake was quickly earmarked by other astronomers. Blue moons do not actually display a different color, but are instead noted for their rarity.