Weather Education

Green Moon is a Hoax; Blue Moon is not Blue

No, the moon will not turn green. Simply put, that's an annual hoax that circulates social media, often as a meme. EarthSky has a full history of where this hoax started, as published by Snopes.

Some smartphone and other cameras may take a photo of a moon with a tint but that is a function of the electronics of the camera.

Moons of certain months have nicknames that are often related to folklore, culture or religion. They don't often relate to what you see! Here's more on a blue moon and other nicknames.

A "blue moon is not blue." That's the first thing you should know when you hear people talking about it. Blue moon is a nickname usually given to the second full moon that happens in a single calendar month. It's not a scientific definition and it has nothing to do with the color of the full moon. Since the moon cycle is about 29 and 1/2 days, every few years there will be two full moons that happen in one month. Here's a calendar of two full moons happening in one month.

While it is possible for any full or bright moon to take on a blue tint, based on a dust particles in the Earth's atmosphere that refract light, the moon is commonly tinted orange or red when it is low on the horizon, for the same reason that the sun is more orange or red when it rises and sets- Light is passing through greater amounts of air, and if the air has a lot of particles like dust, ash, soot, smoke, or even just water vapor, the shorter wavelength colors are filtered out, and the yellows, oranges, and reds can make it through.

There are many nicknames for full moons which are based on folklore, and on different cultures around the world. Those nicknames don't describe the moons color either!

Read the full story of how the confusion started over what a "blue moon" is from the Library of Congress.

Some people also use "blue moon" to mean the third full moon out of four full moons that happen in a season. explains that one.

As an expression, once in a blue moon, simply means something that doesn't happen too often.

Moon nicknames and hoaxes Pink Moon and Green Moon are two social media myths.

Don’t fall for the hype on social media! A “Pink Moon” is not pink and a "Green Moon" is a hoax!

Each full moon has nicknames but don’t expect the moon to take the color of the nickname. A “pink moon” is not pink. You probably can guess that a “hunter’s moon” does not look like a hunter either!

Here’s a list of just some of the common moon nicknames from Earthsky.

Trending Stories

Mobile County

Baldwin County

Northwest Florida