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There was an article in yesterday's newspaper discussing the definition of the term "blue moon," as in "once in a ...."

The editor of a magazine concerned with astronomy, perhaps "Sky and Telescope," said he was chagrined to realize that his magazine, fifty years ago, had published an article that referred unclearly to this. The result was that it was not difficult to understand that the second full moon in a month, an infrequent, but not all that infrequent, event, was the "blue moon." However, he explained, as the writer above points out, it is the fourth full moon in a season that is termed the blue one.

Why blue?

I dunno, but I once read that calendars showing the moon phases often had some of them depicted in blue ink. At this point I'm ready to follow my old man's advice, "Don't believe everything you hear and only half of what you read." There may be more to this pearl, if someone would be good enough to remind me. -rs



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