The lunar event will mark the third full moon this Spring, a rare occurrence

By Madison Roberts
May 17, 2019 11:03 AM
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Full moon rises over Turkey's Hakkari
Credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty

Skygazers, rejoice! Another bright moon is in your future this weekend.

On Saturday, May 18, 2019, at 5:11 p.m. EST, the Full Flower Blue Moon will be at its peak. Of course you’ll have a better chance of catching it later at night once it gets darker.

While its title sounds like something that might have been made up, each of the moon’s descriptors actually have a meaning. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, this moon is referred to as “blue” not because of its color or appearance, but because it marks the third time in a season that there’s been a full moon.

“If a season has four full moons, then the third full moon in the season may be called a Blue Moon,” the Almanac reads.

Seasonal blue moons occur on average once every two or three years, and the next one won’t be until October 31, 2020, so keep your eyes peeled on Saturday evening.

However, there is another type of Blue Moon, called a Calendrical Blue Moon, which occurs when there are two full moons in one month.

As for Saturday’s moon’s “full flower” descriptor, the Almanac indicates that this is the name for the full moon during the month of May, simply because it’s typically the month when flowers bloom.

May’s Full Flower Blue Moon is one of many other spectacular celestial events this year, including January’s Super Blood Wolf Moon, February’s Super Snow Moon, March’s Super Worm Moon, and April’s Full Pink Moon.

According to the Almanac, seasonal blue moons occur on average once every two or three years, and the next one won’t be until October 31, 2020, so keep your eyes peeled on Saturday evening.

And for those who don’t have a chance to get outside to study the sky, the Weather Channel will be broadcasting a livestream of the moon beginning at 9:30 p.m. on their app.