When a giant, full blue moon rises, it's bound to capture the imaginations of sky watchers the world over. What does it really mean though?
According to the now-defunct Maine Farmers' Almanac, each season has three full moons, but when a fourth appears, it's considered a blue moon. Due to an error in the March 1946 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine, however, people commonly interpret a blue moon to mean the arrival of a full moon in a month that already had one. Regardless of rival definitions, a blue moon only occurs once every two to three years and is a spectacular sight to witness. We've collected some mesmerizing images of the August 2013 blue moon snapped by moonstruck photographers around the globe.
Western wildfires turned the blue moon orange in this picture courtesy of Dave Berg. The photographer, located near Geneseo, Ill., used a Canon EOS 60D for the amazing photo.
Batuk Bhagwan and his trusty Fujifilm FinePix S9100 captured the blue moon playing hide and seek behind a large tree at a field in Elixhausen, Austria.
"This morning has been very nice and quiet but pretty chilly -- the first serious signs of autumn. I just was finished with delivering newspapers when [the] full moon started to set behind the horizon," Bhagwan told CNET.
As the blue moon shined over the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina on Tuesday, Bisse Bowman was ready with a Canon PowerShot S50X HS. Blue moons aren't actually blue -- well, no more so than any other moon with a bluish tint, that is.
Marc Richardson and his family witnessed the big blue moon at an outing at Lions Bay in British Columbia, Canada. Their expressions are priceless. Richardson used a Canon 5D dSLR, 70-200mm USM II lens for this unique personal shot.
Photographer Joan Gray, equipped with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II dSLR, captured this excellent long exposure of the blue moon rising over Mehama, Ore.
"Earlier in the day my husband and I staked out a clear-cut area on a hilltop about 6 miles away from our home," Gray told CNET. "At about 9 p.m., we decided we'd had too much wine to make the short drive, so we snuck onto our (absent) neighbors' back patio to watch the rise of the blue moon. Using my tripod, I took dozens of shots with my Canon 5D Mark II. It was a great night!"