Tonight, a supermoon will collide with a hunter’s moon to create quite a spectacle in the sky. The moon tonight will be unusually bright, and light up the sky. The hunter’s moon comes a month after a harvest moon, which is closest to the Autumnal Equinox. This evening should be unusually well lit.
October’s full moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon, and it is technically full in an instant. This year’s Hunter Moon can also be considered a “supermoon” because it occurs when the moon is close to perigee, its closest point to Earth in its orbit, according to the Baltimore Sun. Skies were clear, so the view of the moon was unobstructed.
“It isn’t the biggest supermoon of the year, though — that comes next month, when the Full Beaver Moon arrives Nov. 14 coinciding with the closest lunar perigee of the year, at a distance of less than 222,000 miles.”
— Universe Today (@universetoday) October 16, 2016
Canadian meteorologist Cindy Day says that there are varying names around the world for the moons, and it can get confusing, says CTV. But regardless, the blood moon is good, free entertainment.
“October’s full moon was traditionally known as the Full Hunter’s Moon, since it marked a great time to go hunting to gather food ahead of the northern winter, but it has a few other names too! You might know it as the Full Blood Moon or even the Drying Grass Moon.”
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Day explains that the cycles of the moon guarantee at least a full moon once a month, or every 27.3 days.
“The moon is a sphere that travels once around Earth every 27.3 days. It also takes about 27 days for the moon to rotate on its axis. That means the moon always shows us the same face; there is no single “dark side” of the moon. As the moon revolves around Earth, it is illuminated from varying angles by the sun; what you see when you look at the moon is reflected sunlight. On average, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day, which means sometimes it rises during daylight and other times during nighttime hours.”
— RÆVEN (@Ravens_Claws) October 16, 2016
Motherboard says that there’s nothing that gets everyone geared up for Halloween like a full moon in October. The supermoon will make our moon seem 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger.
It was a Native American tradition to name the various moons throughout a cycle, and throughout the year. During the Hunter’s Moon, it was so bright the people got extra hours to hunt their prey, and the moon was so bright, they could also hunt by moonlight. But next month’s Beaver Moon should be an even more spectacular supermoon on November 14. NASA strongly suggests you get a look at the moon in November, because you might not see one like that again.
The Farmers Almanac says that the Beaver Moon is called that because it was the time to set up the beaver traps before the swamps froze, so that the tribes could make beaver coats for warmth. Some also now call it the Frosty Moon.
“The Full Moon of November 14 is not only the closest full moon of 2016, but also the closest full moon to date in the 21st century. The full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034.”
— The Chronicle (@EveningChron) October 16, 2016
And yet we will have another supermoon in December, called the Cold Moon for obvious reasons on December 14.
Are you planning to check out any of these moons?
[Featured Image by Scott Barbour/Getty Images]