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A rare blue moon will light up the sky tonight on Halloween
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A rare blue moon will light up the sky tonight on Halloween

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Spooky season is upon us — and Halloween night will be even a little bit spookier.

The night sky will be illuminated by a blue moon, the second full moon in a month. And with mostly clear skies expected tonight in much of the U.S., you'll have a good chance to see the blue moon. Clouds are expected mainly in some parts of the north and east, according to the National Weather Service.

It's also the first time a Halloween full moon has appeared for all time zones since 1944, according to Farmers' Almanac.

Every month has a full moon, but because the lunar cycle and the calendar year aren't perfectly synched, about every three years we wind up with two in the same calendar month.

October's first full moon, also known as the harvest moon, appeared Oct. 1. Tonight is the first instance of a blue moon in the Americas since March 2018.

The "once in a blue moon" phenomenon does not necessarily mean the moon will look blue on Halloween. While the dark blue tone of an evening sky can affect the coloring we see, Earth's satellite will most likely not appear blue at all.

Typically, when a moon does take on a bluish hue, it is because of smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere, such as during a major volcanic eruption.

When the phrase "once in a blue moon" was coined, it meant something so rare you'd be lucky (or unlucky) to see in your lifetime, according to NASA.

What is the Harvest Moon? A guide to full moon nicknames

More moon fun facts: No. 1, it's not made of cheese

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