Watching the Skies: A full, blue moon for Halloween

Watching The Skies

(Courtesy: NASA)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Halloween is looking a little extra spooky this year — at least, astronomically speaking. 

A full moon will rise in the east after sunset on Halloween. The moon will technically be full at 10:49 a.m. ET on Halloween but will appear full on both Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. This full moon will be known as the Hunter’s Moon, which is the name given to the full moon after the Harvest Moon.

This won’t be your average full moon. A few things will make it especially unique.

First, the full moon on Halloween will be the second full moon of October 2020. When there are two full moons in a month, the second is referred to as a Blue Moon.

This will also be the farthest full moon of the year. Back in March, April, and May of 2020, we had a series of “supermoons.” A moon can be classified as a supermoon if it’s within 90% of its closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit. This second full moon in October is far enough away that it will be classified as a “micro-moon.”

Finally, Mars will be close to the full moon in the night sky. Mars has been putting on an impressive show the entire month and is still the fourth brightest celestial object in the sky, only behind the sun, the moon, and Venus. Once you’ve picked out the bright full moon on Halloween, you’ll be able to easily spot red Mars up and to the right.

So, putting it all together: this Halloween, look up to see the blue Hunter’s micro-moon with red Mars nearby. The next time a full moon will happen on Halloween will be in 2039.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

Weather Tools