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Blue moon: A cosmic wink at Neil Armstrong memorial service

The blue moon Friday is on the same day of a private memorial service for Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. A blue moon occurs when there's a second full moon in one calendar month. It won't happen again until July 2015.

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The moon is seen during a public memorial service for astronaut Neil Armstrong at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio August 29, 2012. The blue moon will appear on Aug. 31, 2012.

REUTERS/Matt Sullivan

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There's a rare 'blue moon' on Friday, a fitting wink to Neil Armstrong by the cosmic calendar.

That's the day of a private service for Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, who died last Saturday in Ohio at age 82.

A blue moon occurs when there's a second full moon in one calendar month. It won't happen again until July 2015. The full moon cycle is 29.5 days so a blue moon is uncommon and has come to mean something rare. The moon actually won't be colored blue.

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Harvard University astronomer Avi Loeb said the moon is far more important to lovers, literature and folklore than to science.

Armstrong's family has suggested paying tribute to him by looking at the moon and giving the astronaut a wink.

Meanwhile, two Apollo astronauts who flew on lunar missions are promoting the Neil Armstrong children's health memorial fund

Eugene Cernan and James Lovell will be at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center on Friday morning to talk about the new Neil Armstrong New Frontiers Initiative. The Armstrong family asked that instead of flowers, memorial contributions go to the children's health initiative, a Telluride Foundation scholarship in his name or to a scholarship fund in his name at The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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