Flower Moon 2019 meaning: Why is the May Full Moon called the Flower Moon?



15.05.2019 09:04

This year has seen some spectacular celestial events, from a total lunar eclipse to a trio of Super Moons. And 2019 is about to witness another incredible astronomical event, the Full Flower Moon. Also known as the Blue Moon, this breathtaking sight will not appear again for another two years.

May’s Blue Moon will peak in intensity between Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19.

The Blue Moon will rise in the UK’s skies Saturday evening, around 10.21pm BST.The Moon’s arrival will coincide with the arrival of the May Full Moon – commonly called the Flower Moon.Stargazers should look out for this month’s Blue Moon for there will not be another chance to see this wonderful event for another two years.READ MORE: Yutu 2 rover snaps INCREDIBLE far side of the moon photos

What is a Blue Moon?A Blue Moon rarely appears blue in the night sky, although that is not to say it never does.According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the modern understanding of Blue Moons did not actually stick until the 1980s.In essence, there are two types of Blue Moons we can witness.Seasonal Blue Moon: Each season has three full moons, but occasionally a season can have a fourth full moon.When this happens, such as this year, the fourth Full Moon of the season is called a Blue Moon.READ MORE: NASA releases STUNNING Hubble image of 'hourglass-shaped' stars

Calendrical Blue Moon: Similarly, if two full moons happen in one month, the second full moon of the month is a Blue Moon.The moon actually takes around 29.5 days to complete its lunar cycle.So the month’s first Full Moon occurs on the first of the month, the second can return at the end.Why is the May Full Moon called the Flower Moon?This weekend’s Blue Moon is of the seasonal variety, because it is the third of four full moons to take place in spring.READ MORE: WATCH moment Hayabusa2 drops a BOMB on giant asteroid

And as The Old Farmer’s Almanac reports, this Blue Moon will be a Full Flower Moon.It states: “During Native American and Colonial times … the May full moon marked a time of increasing fertility, with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom.”And while some communities called the May Full Moon a Full Flower Moon, it is also known as a Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, or Corn Planting Moon.After Saturday, the next seasonal Blue Moon will not return until midday on August 22, 2021.

And the last Blue Moons were on March 31, 2018, and on January 31, 2018.Rarest of all is the appearance of a monthly Blue Moon and a seasonal Blue Moon in the same year.This will next happen in 2048, when a monthly Blue Moon in January is followed by a seasonal Blue Moon in August.And this rare combination will repeat itself in the year 2067 with a Blue Moon in March and November.


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