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David J Grenier Fine Art Photography

The Blue Moon and 'One small step for a man...........'

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What is a Blue Moon? According to the more recent definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. For a blue moon to occur the first of the full moons must appear at or near the beginning of the month so that the second will fall within the same month (the average span between two moons is 29.5 days). The full moon on August 31, 2012, was this type of blue moon; it was the second full moon in one month, giving sky watchers their last chance to observe this celestial phenomenon for nearly three years.

The August 31, 2012 blue moon also happened to fall on the day of late astronaut Neil Armstrong's memorial service. Armstrong, became the first person to set foot on the moon who on July 20, 1969.

Over the next 20 years there will be about 15 blue moons. The next blue moon occurs on July 31, 2015. We get two blue moons in 2018 when they fall within January and March.

"Blue moon" appears to have been a colloquial expression long before it developed its calendrical senses. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first reference to a blue moon comes from a proverb recorded in 1528: ‘If they say the moon is blue, we must believe that it is true.’

Saying the moon was blue was equivalent to saying the moon was made of green (or cream) cheese; it indicated an obvious absurdity. In the 19th century, the phrase until a blue moon developed, meaning "never." The phrase, once in a blue moon today has come to mean "every now and then" or "rarely"—whether it gained that meaning through association with the lunar event remains uncertain.

Upon taking the first step onto the surface of the moon in 1969, Neil Armstrong uttered what would become one of history's most famous one-liners, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

The image above was captured from the backyard of my home in El Dorado Hills on August 31, 2012. I used a Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-200mm 1:4 L USM, at 200mm, attached to a Canon 1.4x, which was then attached to a 2x Extender.

I dedicate this to the courage and honor of first man to set foot on the moon over 43 years ago ~ RIP Mr. Armstrong!

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