All of America will be illuminated by a very rare Blue Hunter’s Moon on Halloween.
The Blue Hunter’s Moon will peak at 10:51 a.m. EDT on October 31, but will be bright and visible Halloween night.
A full moon only happens on Halloween about every 18 to 19 years. This is the first time since 2001 that a full moon has been visible on October 31 in the U.S.
Halloween is going to be unusual this year—and not just for the reason you’re thinking (spooky face masks, anyone?). For the first time in decades, all of America will be illuminated by a very rare Blue Hunter’s Moon. Here’s everything trick-or-treaters need to know about spotting the full moon, plus why it’s so unusual.
When will the Blue Hunter’s Moon be visible on Halloween?
The Blue Hunter’s Moon will peak at 10:51 a.m. EDT on October 31, per The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Of course, you’ll have to wait until the sun sets to see the moon in all its glory. To find out exactly where and when the moon will rise and set in your area, check out this moonrise calculator.
This blue moon will hang lower in the sky, with more of an orange tint when it’s closer to the horizon. This will actually be the smallest full moon of the year—the opposite of a supermoon—because of its distance from Earth.
Why is it called a Blue Hunter’s Moon?
Despite the somewhat confusing name, blue moons don’t actually look blue—they’re just few and far between. When two full moons occur within the same month, an unusual occurrence, the second one is called a blue moon.
The lunar cycle is just over 29 days long, so when a full moon lands at the beginning of a month, as October’s Harvest Moon did, there’s a chance that the cycle will complete before the calendar month comes to an end. This only happens about once every two to three years, NASA reports. The saying “once in a blue moon” is actually pretty accurate.
The second portion stems from folklore. As native tribes “prepared for the cold months ahead, they look to October’s full moon as the signal to gather meat for winter,” Farmer’s Almanac states.
Why is this Halloween’s Blue Hunter’s Moon so rare?
Blue moons are unusual, but a full moon occurring on Halloween? Not likely.
It’s also the first time since 2001 that a full moon has been visible on Halloween—and the first All Hallows’ Eve when one has been visible in all U.S. time zones since 1944, ABC reports. Combine all of these factors and you get one of the rarest lunar events you can see. (Basically, you might want to buy a lottery ticket on Halloween.)
When is the next full moon?
Although you’ll have to wait until 2039 for the next Halloween full moon, you can start prepping to watch the full Beaver Moon on November 30, four days after Thanksgiving. Leftovers and stargazing, anyone?
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