Monthly Letters to Pulmonary Patients by Thomas L. Petty

Thomas L. Petty, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, 
University of Colorado

Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)


National Lung Health Education Program
A collaborative project with



HealthOne Center
1850 High Street
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: 303 839 6755
Fax: 303 832 8137

Blue Moons

June 1999
Second Wind
Lomita, California

Dear Friends:

This morning I was awake early, as usual, and I was thrilled to watch the moonset of the second blue moon of this year. This highly unusual occurrence set me to thinking.

Although the needs to reprogram ourselves when we get off track were cited in my May message, the universe has been exquisitely programmed by the Almighty. Thus, planets, satellites, suns, stars, solar systems, and galaxies are intimately and delicately balanced, which has tickled the imagination of astronomers, mathematicians, and philosophers since the beginnings of recorded time.

A recent trip to the Smithsonian Institute to see a replica of the Hubble telescope, reminded me that man's ingenuity and evolving technology gives us an improved ability to perceive our universe.

When will two blue moons occur again in the same year? I believe the projection is the year 2018. Why so long? It's a matter of mathematics and design.

Both ancients and moderns have fantasized about extraterrestrial life. Today, we have emerging technological capabilities that allow us to further explore not only our own moon, but other planets and beyond. When will we cease our quest for information about our universe? It will take all of the remaining blue moons!

I will be in touch next month.

Your friend,

  Thomas Petty, MD

Last update:
14 March 2002