Full moon coming on New years eve

The coming full moon will be the first New Year’s Eve blue moon – by one definition – since 1990. Credit: Chuck Liddy

On New Year’s Eve, when merrymakers crowd the streets, a blue moon will shine over their festive heads – bringing to the holiday both a night-sky rarity and a decades-old quibble.

Most plainly, a blue moon means seldom. Practically never. It’s shorthand for an event that happens so infrequently you might as well wait for the big white pumpkin in the sky to change color.

But the meaning and roots of the phrase are tangled up in error and dispute. Pick your own explanation and raise a glass to Earth’s lonely satellite.

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