In a typical year, we have 12 full moons. But in true 2020 fashion, this year will be unique with 13 full moons. So when will we see the double dose of moons? This special event will occur this month!
The first night in October will feature the first full moon, with the second full moon arriving on October 31st, just in time for Halloween.
Our first full moon is known as the Harvest Moon. It bears this name because it is the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox, which occurred on September 22nd. The name Harvest Moon comes from farmers using the moon’s light to harvest crops.
The Harvest Moon usually occurs in September, but this year it is occurring in early October. The Moon rose at 5:06 pm EDT on October 1st.
If you are an avid Moon observer and are planning to check out the Moon again on Friday night, you may notice a bright spot to the left of the Moon. This is actually Mars! Mars will make its closest approach to Earth (still 38,586,816 miles away) on the morning of October 6th.
So what do we call the following full moon? The full moon that follows the Harvest Moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon. It is called the Hunter’s Moon since hunters would use the light from the moon to hunt prey and get ready for the winter months.
Since it is the second full moon in a calendar month, it is also a blue moon! This happens roughly every two and a half to three years. So it really is “once in a blue moon!”