Harvest Moon to open October, Hunter's Blue Moon to close it on Halloween
LOS ANGELES - October will be extra spooky this year with two lunar events set to open and close out the month.
Typically, there are only 12 full moons in a given year, but 2020 will have 13 with two in the month of October.
The first full moon is the Harvest Moon, and it will light up the sky on Oct. 1. This brilliant moon will rise at 5:05 p.m. ET.
One thing that sets the Harvest Moon apart from other full moons is that it is not associated with a specific month, as the others are. Instead, the Harvest Moon is related to the autumnal equinox, and the full moon that occurs nearest to this equinox takes on the “Harvest Moon” name. “This means that the Harvest Moon can occur in either September or October, depending on how the lunar cycle lines up with the Gregorian calendar,” the Farmer’s Almanac said.
But why is it called “Harvest Moon”? The bright moonlight was an aid to help farmers and crews while harvesting crops in the evenings, hence giving it its harvest name, the almanac said.
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According to NASA, the Harvest Moon moon with appear full for about three days, from Wednesday to Saturday.
The second full moon is the Hunter’s Blue Moon and will appear on Oct. 31, Halloween night. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, such an event occurring on Halloween only happens every 18 to 19 years.
A near full Hunter's moon rises behind the A303 road in Wiltshire
Since it is the second full moon of the month, it takes on the name “Blue Moon.” It will not be blue in color as the name suggests.
“Some folks believe that this full moon was called the Hunter’s Moon because it signaled the time to go hunting in preparation for winter,” the almanac noted.
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The Hunter's Blue Moon will peak at 10:51 a.m. on Halloween morning and will appear full during the night as well.
But enjoy the creepy full moon on Halloween while it lasts. The next full moon on Halloween will not happen until 2039.