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October has Harvest Moon, Blue Moon


There are two highly significant full moons in October 2020: The Harvest Moon, and, as any second full moon in a calendar month is called, the Blue Moon.

The Full Harvest Moon occurs at 3:05 p.m. MDT Thursday, Oct. 1. It’s named the Harvest Moon because it’s the full moon closest to (either before or after) the fall equinox, which is on Sept. 22 this year.

The second full moon in October, the Blue Moon, is at 8:49 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31 – Halloween! Maybe this is blue because it’s bumping the traditional October Full Moon, the Hunter’s Moon.

As the full moon begins to rise in the east about sunset, it may appear bigger and more orange than it really is. That’s called the moon illusion.

“Most of the time, the full moon isn't perfectly full,” says space.com. “We always see the same side of the moon, but part of it is in shadow. Only when the moon, Earth and the sun are perfectly aligned is the moon 100 percent full, and that alignment produces a lunar eclipse.”

“It turns out that the moon can appear bluish, as it did in 1883 after the volcano Krakatoa erupted (producing possibly the loudest noise in human history),” space.com Reference Editor Tim Sharp said. “Dust in the air acted as a filter, causing sunsets and the moon to [appear] green and blue all over the world, an event that NASA said is thought to have spawned the phrase ‘blue moon.’ Other events such as forest fires and dust storms can cause the moon to [appear] blue.”

Full moons occur about every 29.5 days, which means a full moon is likely in every month, but February could sometimes miss out.