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Blue Flower Moon rises Saturday

Tony Rice, WRAL contributor/NASA ambassadorMay 17, 2019

The Algonquin Native Americans called May’s full moon the flower moon. Saturday’s full moon can be called the blue flower moon.

But Saturday is May 18. If a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month, and it takes about a month (it’s where the word comes from) for the Moon to cycle through its phases, shouldn’t a blue moon occur only on the 30 or 31?

There is a second, lesser used, definition of blue moon -- the third of four full moons in a season.

“The phrase ‘Blue Moon’ has been around a long time, well over 400 years, and during that time its meaning has shifted,” said Philip Hiscock, a folklorist from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. “I have counted six different meanings.”

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