Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows



Alt News
Tonight’s Blue Moon Coincides With Neil Armstrong’s Memorial Service
August 31, 2012
submit to reddit

Pretty auspicious timing: there will be a blue moon tonight for the first time in over two years. And as it happens, the memorial service for astronaut Neil Armstrong takes place today.

Armstrong was the first human being to set foot on the moon. He died last weekend at the age of 82.


Of course, the name "blue moon" is a little misleading: our moon won't be changing colour tonight. A blue moon is "the second full moon in a month with two of them," according to According to folklore, the second moon in a month is "blue," which is where the name comes from.

It may not make all that much sense, but it definitely made for a great Elvis Presley performance (not to mention Billie Holiday and Mel Torme, who also covered it):

The phrase "once in a blue moon" usually refers to something really rare, but blue moons aren't that unusual - they take place an average of once every 2.7 years. Sometimes there are even two in one year (it happened in 1999).

Science@NASA has this video explaining where the name blue moon comes from, and the truly rare circumstances when a blue moon is actually blue:

While the moon will probably look as grey as usual this evening, it's kind of nice to think that our best-known satellite is feeling a little blue in sympathy for Neil Armstrong's family and friends.

In a statement released after his death, his family had a suggestion for people who want to pay tribute to him:

"For those who may ask what they can do to honour Neil, we have a simple request. Honour his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

Related stories on

VIDEO OF THE DAY: 4.5 Billion Years of The Moon In Under Three Minutes


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.