The rare 'Hunter's Full Moon' will be visible tonight
Be sure to find clear skies and look up tonight, as the evening of October 13 will host the spectacular lunar phenomenon known as the Hunter's Full Moon. Celestial enthusiasts will be treated to the rare brighter and orange-colored moon as it appears "opposite" the sun, NASA has announced.
According to NASA, full Hunter's Moon will reach peak "fullness" on Sunday, October 13 at 5:17 pm eastern daylight time (22:17 pm GMT).
Check out some incredible footage from this orange lunar phenomenon:
The very first citation of the "Hunter's Moon" was found in the Oxford English Dictionary from way back in 1710, and it refers to the full moon that occurs after the Harvest moon, that would allow hunters to easily see any animals searching for scraps in the now harvested fields.
Science journalist Deborah Byrd writes on EarthSky: "If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, look for the moon to be bright and full-looking for several nights beginning around October 11 and 12. Keep watching on October 13 and 14. Around all of these nights, you’ll see a bright round moon in your sky, rising around the time of sunset, highest in the middle of the night."
According to NASA, several sources suggest that other names for the Hunter's Moon are the Sanguine or Blood Moon, either associated with the blood from with hunting or the turning of the leaves in Fall.
Tania de Sales Marques, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told Country Living:
"The October full moon will happen on the 13th and is known as the Hunter's Moon. The Moon will rise just after sunset [...], so if you go for a walk after dinner and the skies are clear, face south and you should be able to spot a beautiful full moon."
Per the official NASA website, this particular full moon has significance to many cultures and religions around the world:
- For Buddhists, this full Moon is Pavarana, and signals the end of Vassa - a three-month period of fasting for Buddhist monks linked to the monsoons.
- In Laos this full Moon corresponds with the Boun Suang Huea or the Boat Racing Festival.
- In Sri Lanka, this is the Vap Poya, which is followed by the Kathina festival, during which people give gifts to the monks, particularly new robes (which is why this particular lunar month is sometimes referred to as the Month of Robes).
- In Myanmar the celebration of the end of Vassa is the Thadingyut Festival, also know as the Lighting Festival.
- For Hindus, this full Moon is Sharad Purina, a harvest festival marking the end of the rains.
And don't worry if clouds spoil your view of this beautiful occasion, because NASA says that the orange moon will be visible until Tuesday morning. But in case you do miss the spectacular sight, the Hunter's Moon will return next fall.