Written by Tammy Plotner
Have you enjoyed our lunar studies together this year? We hope you've taken the time to follow the phases and to appreciate what you see. Although it would be wonderful to end our this year's time together viewing the distant cosmos, something very cool is about to happen
In 1982, a second full Moon of the month was visible. Known as a ''Blue Moon,'' the name does not refer to the Moon's color but reflects the rarity of the event and gives rise to the expression, ''once in a blue moon.'' The Blue Moon of 1982 was even more special because a total lunar eclipse also occurred (for the United States) then. The image you see below has a strange significance as well. Not only is it the absolute finest photo of the full Moon I have ever seen, but it was recorded at a year's end, too on December 22, 1999 by incomparable astrophotographer Rob Gendler. That particular December's Moon was special for another reason, as the full phase occurred on the day of the winter solstice, within hours of lunar perigee and just one month away from a lunar eclipse.