Difference: MoonTables (5 vs. 6)

Revision 62015-03-02 - WilliamSeligman

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META TOPICPARENT name="WilliamSeligman"

Moon Tables

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  For my part, I like the original definition better. It relates one astronomical event, a full moon, with another astronomical marker, the solstices and the equinoxes. The "new" definition uses an imposed time scheme, the Gregorian calendar. So from now on, I'm going by the old definition.
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If you prefer the newer definition, or you want to look for a "black moon" (the second new moon in a month)... well, you've got eyes and you've got a mind. Look for yourself in the table above. For either definition, consult this chart from Sky and Telescope for the dates of the blue moons until 2020; after that there's this chart which will take you to the end of the century.
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If you prefer the newer definition, or you want to look for a "black moon" (the second new moon in a month)... well, you've got eyes and you've got a mind. Look for yourself in the table above. For either definition, consult this chart from Sky and Telescope for the dates of the blue moons until 2020; after that there's this chart which will take you to the end of the century.
  There are other definitions of a "blue moon." Someone wrote me with an obscure astrological definition: the second full moon that occurs in the same sign. There is also a drink called the Blue Moon, but I have found more than one recipe. The moon can appear blue as a result of rare meteorological conditions. Of course, there's always the conversational meaning of "a rare occurrence."
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Moon calculations

In the past, I received several messages from visitors to this page asking various calendar questions (e.g., "How often are there blue moons?" or "When will there be a full moon on Halloween?"). I'm sorry, but I don't have time to be an astronomical calendar calculation service. However, you can find any number of freeware or shareware calendar programs on the net to answer such questions. Some resources are:

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You can also do what I did and write your own programs. If you're looking for a project that will teach you the basics of programming, calendar calculations are a good way to start. My sources for astronomical formulae were:

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  These books give you all the bits and pieces of astronomical calculations, which you can fit together as you like. It's not harder than, say, building a plastic model from a kit and then putting the model in your own diorama.
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You probably already have the necessary tools on your computer. Even if you don't have a programming language like C, C++, BASIC, or FORTRAN on your machine, the calculations are well within the capabilities of any spreadsheet program. The web browser you're using probably supports Javascript; arithmetic isn't its main strength, but you can give it a shot.
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You probably already have the necessary tools on your computer. Even if you don't have a programming language like C, C++, BASIC, or FORTRAN on your machine, the calculations are well within the capabilities of any spreadsheet program. The web browser you're using probably supports Javascript; arithmetic isn't its main strength, but you can give it a shot.
  Even if you have no additional software for your computer, you can still program them to perform arithmetic calculations. On Macs you can use AppleScript, and I imagine something similar can be done with .COM files in Windows.
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Previous moon tables

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I first put up these moon tables in 1994, and updated them every year or so. Then I put up tables in 2001 for the following five years. I used to receive e-mails on them, but I no longer do. Presumably, folks have discovered other, superior resources for the same information. Since apparently this web page is not as useful as it used to be, I don't feel a strong need to revise it. That's why I went through ten years worth of calculation at once in 2005. In 2014, I extended them to 2025. When that year arrives, I'll have been providing these tables for 31 years; I'll see if I feel it's time to stop.
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I first put up these moon tables in 1994, and updated them every year or so. Then I put up tables in 2001 for the following five years. I used to receive e-mails on them, but I no longer do. Presumably, folks have discovered other, superior resources for the same information. Since apparently this web page is not as useful as it used to be, I don't feel a strong need to revise it. That's why I went through ten years worth of calculations at once in 2005. In 2014, I extended them to 2025. When that year arrives, I'll have been providing these tables for 31 years; I'll see if I feel it's time to stop.
 
 
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