08/31/2012 08:14 am ET Updated Sep 01, 2012

Blue Moon 2012: Rare Second Full Moon This Month Occurs Friday, August 31 (PHOTOS)

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Skywatchers, get ready: The last "blue moon" for three years will occur on Friday, Aug. 31.

And, no, the moon will not actually be blue.

According to LiveScience's Stephanie Pappas, a blue moon was traditionally defined as the fourth full moon of a season. But since 1946, when a writer for Sky and Telescope either made a mistake or decided to make things simpler, it's come to mean the second full moon in a month.

A full moon occurs every 29.5 days, according to the Associated Press, and the last full moon occurred on Aug. 1.

The next blue moon won't occur until July 2015.

Those not able to see the blue moon on Friday due to weather or location need not worry: The Slooh Space Camera, a telescope that streams celestial events over the web in realtime, will be broadcasting the event. According to, two live feeds, one from Spain's Canary Islands and the other from the Prescott Obeservatory in Arizona, will be broadcast simultaneously.

For some, the Aug. 31 blue moon will take on additional significance as it's the day of the memorial service for Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon. Armstrong died on Saturday at the age of 82.

Armstrong's family released a statement that day that said, in part:

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor 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.”

Blue Moon Photos