'Blue moon' will coincide with Neil Armstrong's funeral

Aug 30, 2012

There will be a "blue moon" tomorrow night, a fitting wink to Neil Armstrong by the cosmic calendar.

That's the day of a private service for Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, who died last Saturday in Ohio at age 82.

A blue moon occurs when there's a second full moon in one calendar month. The lunar cycle is 29.5 days long, so a blue moon is rare.

This will be your last chance to spot the phenomenon until July of 2015.

The moon actually won't be colored blue. According to the Etymology Dictionary, the saying "once in a blue moon," meaning "very rarely," dates back 1821. The phrase "blue moon" originated even earlier as a way to express absurdity.

In Michigan, the moon will appear precisely full on Friday at 9:58 a.m, but it will still be visible into that night after it rises around 8 p.m.

Armstrong's family has suggested paying tribute to him by looking at the moon and giving the astronaut a wink.

To further commemorate the moon-walker, take a 3D interactive tour of the first moon landing with Google Moon.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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