October Hunter’s Moon: See Incredible Pics of Fall’s First Full Moon

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Hunter’s Moon lit up the sky over the weekend, and photographers worldwide took the opportunity to capture the amazing sight. There are photos of the Moon rising up over some of our world’s most significant landmarks: The Statue of Liberty, the Cathedral of Notre Dame, and Istanbul’s Suleymaniye Mosque, to name a few.

This was the first full moon after the autumnal equinox, marking the official beginning of fall. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Moon appeared much larger than usual, because it was lingering closer to the horizon. It was also bright, vivid orange in most areas, due to light scattering off of Earth’s atmosphere.

JERSEY CITY, NJ – OCTOBER 9 The full Hunter’s Moon rises behind the skyline of Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Tower as the sun sets in New York City on October 9, 2022, as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

Amazing Images Show the Bright Orange Hunter’s Moon

Also, due to the Moon being farther from the Equator, it rose relatively early in the Northern Hemisphere. For example, in New York, it rose at about 6:34 pm. The full moon was in Pisces this weekend, as well, which means we all got a little more sensitive than usual (just kidding).

Additionally, Jupiter was bright in the mostly-clear skies on Sunday as well. Some photographers managed to capture the Moon as well as Jupiter. Our largest planet was skirting close to the Earth around September 26, and astronomers managed to capture images of the planet as well as some of its moons. Last month, Jupiter was also in opposition, meaning it was in a straight line with the Earth and the Sun. It appears its biggest and brightest during opposition, which happens every 13 months. Combined with Jupiter coming the closest to the Earth that it’s been in 59 years, that made for some pretty stunning images.

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 09: The Hunter’s Moon rises behind The Statue of Freedom that crowns the U.S. Capitol dome on October 9, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Hunter’s Moon historically signaled the time for hunting with brighter moon light in preparation for the upcoming cold winter. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Hunter’s Moon Lights Up the Sky Over the Weekend

The Farmers’ Almanac has always referred to the full moons by names related to Native American, Colonial American, and European folklore. But, according to the Almanac’s website, the Hunter’s Moon and the Harvest Moon are the only two that don’t follow this pattern. Instead, their names are linked to the Autumnal Equinox.

The Harvest Moon usually occurs before the Hunter’s Moon, and is closer to the Autumnal Equinox (Sept. 22). The Hunter’s Moon, however, is the first full moon that follows the Harvest Moon after the Equinox. The Harvest Moon doesn’t always happen in September, though, and can sometimes occur in October. Therefore, the Hunter’s Moon sometimes occurs in November. This year, the Harvest Moon was on Sept. 10, meaning an October Hunter’s Moon.

Other Names For This Month’s Full Moon

So, what’s the history behind the name? According to the Almanac, there were stories that the Hunter’s Moon signaled the time to prepare food for the harsh winter. That means going out and hunting. The Harvest Moon signified just that, the harvest. So, with the fields cleared out, it was time to hunt.

There are also other names for the Hunter’s Moon in different Native American cultures. These include Drying Rice Moon for the Dakota, Falling Leaves Moon for the Anishinaabe, Freezing Moon for the Ojibwe, Ice Moon for the Haida, and the Migrating Moon for the Cree. These names refer to changes in the season, such as birds migrating for winter or preparing rice for the cold months.

The next full moon is the Beaver Moon on November 8, which is the second to last full moon of the year.