Once in a blue moon

NO need for fireworks, Mother Nature will be putting on her own light show for New Year’s Eve revellers, with a rare blue moon setting the sky ablaze at midnight.

A blue moon occurs every two-and-a-half years on average, and the last time it shone on New Year’s Eve was 1990. The next time will be 2028.

Australasian Science magazine spokesperson David Reneke said don’t expect it to literally be blue. “The Blue Moon isn’t blue, shooting stars don’t actually shoot, and then there is the Tooth Fairy and Santa,” Mr Reneke said.

The astronomer predicted that if the cloud clears on New Year’s Eve, we should witness a bright, full moon which will peak just before midnight. To top it off, nature’s light show will continue into the New Year with the Quadrantid Meteor Shower that can be seen around the world from January 3 to 5 each year.

“The meteor shower will be bluish and blazing, travelling about 60km a second,” Mr Reneke said.

Another New Year’s gift for local amateur astronomers is two months of radiant skies, according to Mr Reneke.

"In January and February stars appear in the evening sky rather than the morning sky,” he said.



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