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For the first time in 19 years, a rare ‘blue moon’ will light up the sky this Halloween

For the first time in 19 years, a rare ‘blue moon’ will light up the sky this Halloween

This year's Halloween night is set to be an extra special one, with a rare 'blue moon' lighting up the skies. 

For the first time in 19 years, a rare ‘blue moon’ will light up the sky this Halloween

The lunar event occurs every 19 years, meaning it’ll be the last chance for onlookers to see a Halloween blue moon until the year 2039.

What actually is a blue moon? Well, despite the name, don’t expect to see the moon cast in a blue hue. Rather, a ‘blue moon’ describes the unusual event when there are two full moons in a month, rather than one.

In fact, there are only a handful of occasions when the moon does appear blue, such as when smoke or dust particles after a volcanic eruption result in a bluish hue.

The blue moon is a relatively rare occurrence, happening seven times in 19 years. A Halloween blue moon is even more rare, last seen in the Central and Pacific time zones in 2001.

Onlookers from around the world will be happy to hear the Halloween full moon will be visible in all time zones, the first time since 1944.

A full moon behind a plane

A passenger plane, with a full Harvest moon seen behind, makes its final landing approach towards Heathrow Airport in London, October 5, 2017. 

How to see the Halloween blue moon

So, when’s the best time to see the blue moon? According to experts, the Halloween blue moon is best seen when it is rising or setting.

In Auckland, the moonrise on 31 October will be around 7:30 pm and in Sydney, keep at eye out from 7 pm.

For all other locations, check out the moonrise and moonset calculated on timeanddate.com.

And since this is the second moon of the month, keep an eye out on Thursday, 1 October to see the first full moon.

READ MORE: The best places to go stargazing in New Zealand.

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