Though the term is often used metaphorically to describe a rare event, a "blue moon" is actually, in astronomical terms, the second full moon within a calendar month or the third full moon in a three-month calendrical season that has four full moons. While most years have 12 full moons that occur approximately once a month, each solar year has about 11 days more than the lunar year. These extra days accumulate, so that every two or three years an "extra" full moon appears. What is a black moon?
Back in the day
Also known as the Battle of the Eclipse, the Battle of Halys was fought between the Medes and the Lydians in 585 BCE at the Halys River in what is now Turkey. The final battle of a 15-year war between Alyattes II of Lydia and Cyaxares of Media, the fight ended abruptly due to a total solar eclipse, which was perceived as an omen that the gods wanted the war to end. After a truce, the river was declared the border of the two nations. How is the exact date of the ancient battle known?
Born on a day like today
Larsson was a popular and imaginative Swedish illustrator and painter whose watercolors, particularly of his family and home, became popular worldwide. He is perhaps best known, however, for his last monumental work, Midvinterblot, or "Midwinter Sacrifice," a large oil painting that depicts a scene from Norse mythology. Considered Sweden's most debated painting, it was commissioned by the National Museum in Stockholm but was rejected by the board upon its completion for what reason?