This year’s Hunter’s Moon will reach peak illumination at 10:57 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.
Although its peak falls during the middle of the day, the Hunter’s Moon will appear full from Monday night through Thursday morning.
This full moon, the first of fall and the last before Daylight Saving Time ends, gets its name from hunting season.
Come spooky season, we’re fans of watching as many horror movies as we can handle, planning our costumes well in advance, and decking out our yards with plenty of Halloween-friendly decorations. But sometimes, the best way to celebrate is much simpler: catching a glimpse of the full moon. And October's full moon is one for the books!
When and where to see October's full moon
The 2021 Hunter’s Moon—the first of fall—will reach peak illumination on Wednesday, October 20 at 10:57 a.m. EDT, according to NASA. Although its zenith will actually occur when it’s below the horizon, we have good news: It’ll appear full from Monday night through Thursday morning, offering a wide viewing window for ghouls, witches, and werewolves alike.
To get the best possible view of the full Hunter’s Moon, start watching the horizon near sunset as early as Tuesday night, The Old Farmer’s Almanac recommends. (You can find the exact time using the Almanac’s moonrise calculator.)
Why is it called Hunter's Moon?
You might be wondering why the month's full moon is called a "hunter's moon." The Hunter’s Moon gets its name from hunting season, per the Farmers’ Almanac. When the leaves are falling and the fields are cleared, it’s time to start gathering food for the coming winter—and the light of the full moon likely helped hunters kick off the season with a bounty. Other names for October’s full moon include the Blood Moon and the Sanguine Moon, the Farmers’ Almanac notes.
What makes this full moon special?
Although it always occurs in October, the Hunter’s Moon is not guaranteed to occur each year; its name can be replaced by the Harvest Moon, since it's traditionally the full moon that falls closest to the first day of fall. (Last month, the 2021 Harvest Moon replaced September’s usual Corn Moon.)
The Hunter’s Moon also happens to be the last before Daylight Saving Time comes to an end on Sunday, November 7. If you miss this month's, the next full moon will be the Beaver Moon on Friday, November 19, 2021, which, amazingly, is less than a week before Thanksgiving.
Set up your cauldron and stock up on candy—you don’t want to miss the last full moon before Halloween (and the holiday season).
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