A blue moon and a red planet in the sky this weekend

The May full moon occurs this weekend, and it's a seasonal blue moon (blue in name only).  The full moon will be located near the star/planet Mars, which will appear reddish in color.  Unfortunately, clouds and rain will probably make it hard to see either in South Jersey Saturday night.

In the skies over South Jersey this weekend: a blue moon and a red planet, positioned quite close to one another.

But clouds and rain on Saturday night will make it hard to see either one.

The May full moon will rise around 8 p.m. Saturday evening, and it will be located in the sky right near the planet Mars. 

The moon will also be a blue moon, at least by the older definition of the term.

Known as a seasonal blue moon, it's the third full moon in a season that has four of them. Most seasons usually only have three full moons.

The last seasonal blue moon occurred in August of 2013.

The more modern definition of a blue moon is the second full moon that occurs in the same calendar month. The time between one full moon and the next is around 29.5 days. Therefore, the only time two full moons occur in the same month is when the first happens during the first few days of the month.

The last monthly blue moon occurred in July of 2015. Monthly blue moons occur every two to three years, on average.

The upcoming blue/full moon will be located near the red planet Mars in the sky, shining together throughout Saturday night from dusk until dawn. While the blue moon is blue in name only, Mars will appear as a star that is reddish in color.

The next monthly blue moon occurs in January of 2018.

Meteorologist/Staff Writer

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