Look skyward (behind clouds): August brings 2 full moons

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

August 2012 is off to a rather predictable start in Southcentral, Alaska: Mostly cloudy, some rain, some wind and certainly not above 70 degrees. But this particular August will offer at least one interesting alternative to the norm.

If you've felt yourself acting a bit erratic lately, or if your boss or coworkers were acting weird, don't panic. It's just the influence of the first of this month's two full moons. That's right. Two of 'em, the first of which occurs tonight ... while it's raining ponies and jellyfish around Alaska's largest population center.

But it's OK! You'll get another chance to exercise your "free crazy card." According to the science website Earth Sky:

August 2012 has two full moons. That’s somewhat unusual. Most months only have one. But in cycles of 19 years, or 228 calendar months, seven to eight calendar months will always have two full moons. In other words, there’s a month with two full moons every two to three years. When it happens, the second one is popularly called a Blue Moon. The Blue Moon for 2012 will fall on August 31 at 13:58 UTC (8:58 a.m. CDT).

Hence the idiom "once in a Blue Moon," although there remains some dispute on where exactly that expression originates (a story for another time, perhaps).

The first of the fulls occurred last night, but worry not because the second, the blue one, will pop up at the end of the month on August 31.

To see pictures and read more click here.