Updated news and headlines about full moon in October
Full moons in October: Harvest moon tonight and a rare blue moon on Halloween
As if 2020 isn’t weird enough, it’s a year with 13 full moons rather than 12 — and two of these will occur in October.
October’s first full moon is the harvest moon on October 1, and the second full moon will occur on October 31. That’s right: a full moon on Halloween.
The full harvest moon will rise at 5:05 pm ET on October 1.
The name is given to the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. While this full moon usually occurs in September, a full moon on September 2 was too early to be known as the harvest moon. In 2019, the full harvest moon occurred on Friday, September 13.
The full harvest moon provides light for farmers harvesting their crops into the night, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
The moon will appear full for about three days, according to NASA.
October will also close with a full moon on Halloween — the rare full Halloween blue hunter’s moon.
While the moon won’t actually look blue, the second full moon in one month is usually referred to as a blue moon. This happens every 2.5 to three years, or “once in a blue moon.”
Two full moons in October including on the 1st and a rare one on Halloween!
You may have heard the term, “once in a blue moon”. Well, that’s happening this month!
This term does not refer to the color of the moon, but having two full moons occurring in one month. While not completely uncommon, we typically see two full moons in a month on average once every 2 to 3 years.
The first full moon technically starts at 5:05 PM Thursday October 1st. However, the moon will not rise locally in central New York until around 7:06 PM. Once it does rise, assuming that skies are clear enough to see it, will look very large in the sky. The moon always looks bigger when near the horizon rising or setting due to optical physics of the atmosphere. You will be able to see the full moon in the sky, weather permitting all the way until it sets at 7:32 AM Friday morning.
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Our 2nd full moon of the month (the blue moon) could be considered one of the scariest, eeriest, and rarest of the year: On Halloween!
The Harvest Moon of 2020 rises tonight! But why is it in October?
When the full moon shines tonight (Oct. 1), it will mark the Harvest Moon of 2020.
If it seems a bit late to you, you’re not alone. Each year, the full moon that occurs nearest to the autumnal equinox and is thus christened the Harvest Moon. Usually this title goes to the September full moon. There are other versions of this rule that classify the Harvest Moon as the full moon that comes either at or just after the equinox, which, more-often-than-not, would also put it in October. But in the years between 1970 and 2050, the Harvest Moon falls in October no less than 17 times, and 2020 just happens to be one of those years.
While the average occurrence of an October Harvest Moon is once every three years, sometimes as much as eight years can pass between such cases. In fact, the next time we will see a Harvest Moon in October will be in 2028.
Harvest Moon 2020: When and where to see October’s first full moon
October will be bookended by full moons, with the first happening tonight.
The Harvest Moon usually makes an appearance in September, but nothing in 2020 is “usual.” The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox on Sept. 22, so September had the Corn Moon and October claims the Harvest.
This last happened in 2017. “Before electricity, farmers relied on moonlight during the fall months to help them harvest the late summer and early autumn crops. Because moonlight was an essential part of farming during this time and the moonrise happened very quickly after sunset, it became known as the Harvest Moon, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.”
According to EarthSky.org, the Harvest Moon’s distance from Earth – and apparent size in our sky – is different from year to year.