Tonight's blue moon will be last one until 2020


After all, March 2018 began with a full moon and it seems nearly fitting, artistic even, that it should end the same way.

If we get a break in the cloud cover tonight, sky lovers could see the last blue moon of the year.

As explained by NASA, the common definition of a blue moon is a second full moon in a single month. This happens when a particular year has 13 full moons instead of the usual 12.

The March Blue Moon, dubbed by some Native American tribes the 'Sap Moon, ' coincides with this year's Easter weekend, which also makes it a Paschal Moon.

Today's full moon, which is the first full moon of spring, is also known as a "Paschal Moon", which is the full moon right before Easter Sunday.

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There are plenty of other factors that set the exact date of Easter, including Golden Numbers and when the Equinox falls, so the Paschal Moon is not an exact science. To experience two blue moons in one year is quite a rare occurrence and hasn't happened since 1999.

The exact time the moon will be full will be at 1.36pm BST, although obviously this won't be visible to us. A year's worth of lunations totals 354.36 days versus the 365.24 days in a calendar year, and that difference builds until there are 13 lunations in a year, producing what we call a blue moon. This will be the last blue moon until October 2020, so don't miss it.

Watch a livestream the blue moon rising on The Weather Channel app at 9:15 p.m. Friday. The moon appeared blue because of all the dust the volcano lofted into the air.

However, despite the name - "Blue Moon" - it is not actually blue. The March Blue Moon has one more meaning that not many people may be familiar with. "Squeezing a second full moon into a calendar month doesn't change the physical properties of the moon itself, so the color remains the same". The moon will be visible in United Kingdom at 7:30pm.