If you can’t trick-or-treat this Halloween, you can enjoy another spooky experience – the rare ‘Hunter’s Moon.’
According to space.com, if you look up into the sky tonight, you will see a full moon wherever you are located across the United States. A visible full moon on Halloween is a rare occurrence. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, it hasn’t taken place since 1944. The next time it will happen is 2039.
According to NASA, Blue Moons occur when the near side of the moon is fully lit by the sun for the second time in a calendar month. Blue Moons are also set to take place in August 2023, May 2026 and December 2028.
Hunter’s Moon & Harvest Moon
The Harvest Moon took place on Oct. 1. The full moon passing across the sky on Halloween night is the rare Blue Hunter’s moon. “Typically, the next moon after the harvest moon is known as the hunter’s moon – when hunters used moonlight to hunt prey and prepare for winter,” CNN reports.
As previously reported by Outsider.com, the Harvest Moon is just a name for a full moon like any other. The main difference between regular full moons and autumn full moons is the time of the moonrise. In autumn, the weather is more temperate and cooperative to give viewers fuller-looking moons near the horizon after sunset. In addition, when a full moon happens close to an autumn equinox, the moon rises closer to the time of sunset.
As for the size of the Harvest Moon, it changes from year to year. Since the moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle around Earth, the distance from the surface changes. In 2019, the Harvest Moon was considered a micro-moon and was the smallest, most distant moon of 2019. This year the moon will be the second smallest full moon of 2020. In 2015, spectators saw the closest and biggest supermoon.
A fiery red looking star will accompany this year’s, Harvest Moon. This is no star, however, but the planet Mars.
The Harvest Moon got its name from the shorter than usual gap between sunset and moonrise for a few days in a row. The bright light the moon gives out used to help farmers with extended hours of light to gather their crops.