It’s the first Blue Moon in 76 years, and the world won’t see it happen again until 2039!
Global (31 October 2020) – Astronomers, stargazers, ghouls and werewolves take note: the moon will be full this Halloween night across the entire globe, and this Blue Moon is one that we have not seen in 76 years!
October has not one, but two full moons – and because it’s 2020, the second one naturally falls on Halloween, and it’s called the “Blue Hunter’s Moon”.
Here’s how it gets its name:
The full moon’s names throughout the year are based on early Native folklore.
The full moon closest to the vernal equinox is called the Harvest Moon; the reason for this is that for several evenings, the moonrise comes soon after sunset. This results in an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, which was a traditional aide to farmers and crews harvesting their crops.
The full moon following the Harvest Moon is called the Hunter Moon. October’s Hunter Moon was given its name because it was at this time when tribes gathered meat. After the harvest, the fields were open and clean. The Hunter’s Moon would illuminate animals grazing on the open fields, which made it easy for the people to hunt.
But this year Harvest and Hunter moon fall in the same month, giving us what is known as a Blue moon – a term that applies to any second Full Moon within a single calendar month, hence the full name of tonight’s Halloween moon is a “Blue Hunter’s Moon”.
Once in a Blue Moon
This year’s Blue Moon is a bit special because it coincides with Halloween. Halloween Full Moons are even rarer than Blue Moons — and the last time the entire world saw a Full Moon on Halloween (thanks to the way time zones affect the dates of viewing Full Moons across the globe) was October 31, 1944.
And it won’t happen again until 2039.
Happy Halloween (insert ghoulish laugh here), and a happy Blue Hunter’s Moon.