Better hope the skies are clear this coming weekend, as you're in for a truly mind-boggling sight of this upcoming 'Hunter' full moon.
Nature is truly magnificent. Aside from showing us sights of sheer beauty and awe, we get to experience something unique each month... we all know how much the moon loves its "phases".
After last month's 'Full Corn Moon' which symbolized the harvest season according to Native American folklore, get ready for this month's "Hunter's Moon" that's coming on 13-14th October.
According to South Carolina State Museum Observatory Manager Matthew Whitehouse, that’s the name given to the first full moon after the Harvest Moon (aka Corn Moon), which is the last full moon before the autumnal equinox.
"The moon will appear orange when it is near the horizon, a phenomenon that occurs because we are seeing the moon through the haze of the atmosphere", Whitehouse said. "As the moon rises above the horizon, that orange coloring will fade and it will become its more familiar white."
For those who are unfamiliar with this phenomenon, the moon may actually appear much larger on the horizon. Whitehouse credits this as an optical illusion known as the 'moon illusion'. “It’s a trick of the eye,” he said, adding that as the moon rises, it will appear normal in size.
He also affirmed that we can easily get a good view of the moon-rise looking East, provided we aren't obscured by clouds, trees or buildings. “Beaches will be a very cool place to see it,” he added. “It should be very photogenic.”
The ever-reliant Old Farmer's Almanac has provided handy info that "the Full Hunter’s Moon will reach peak fullness on Sunday, October 13, 2019, the Moon will appear full for roughly three days, from Saturday morning to Tuesday morning."
It’s the only night of the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long—visible at sunset and setting around sunrise the next day! Because the Hunter’s Moon rises from the horizon around sunset, it may appear bigger and more orange—how perfect for the fall season!
But don’t be fooled by the “Moon Illusion,” which makes the Moon appear larger than it really is!
This particular Full Moon is also known by some other names, including 'Travel Moon' and 'Dying Moon'. The term "Hunter's Moon" actually refers to the notion that this is the time of the year when the sunset and the moonrise are closest together - and historically considered the best time to hunt.
Full Hunters’ Moon October 13 could look bigger and more orange than normal https://t.co/thFP8FRYQy— PennLive.com (@PennLive) October 8, 2019
According to de Sales Marques from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, "this name is thought to date back to early European and Native American tribes who would associate October's full moon with the season for hunting game and preparing for the winter months."
"It’s the location of the moon near the horizon that causes the Hunter’s Moon – or any full moon – to look big and orange in color," science journalist, Deborah Byrd, explains.