October’s autumn “Hunter’s Moon” is coming into visibility and lighting up D.C. skies this weekend. The moon will reach peak fullness on Sunday, October 9 around 4:54 p.m. EST—which, luckily, is still light out for us, but don’t worry, the full moon should be visible in the night sky!
What make’s this Hunter’s Moon so special is that it will appear full two nights in a row. If you happen to miss the lunar spectacle on Sunday, it will appear full again on Monday, October 10, according to Forbes, making it a ‘double’ full moon.
The full moon is named the Hunter’s Moon because it historically “signaled the time to go hunting in preparation for the cold winter ahead,” shares the Farmer’s Almanac. Many different names are given to this October moon, such as the Sanguine or Blood Moon.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, both the Hunter’s Moon and last month’s Harvest Moon differ from other celestial events as they aren’t dependent on folklore or restricted to a specific month, but rather tied to the autumn equinox.
A phenomenon known as “Moon Illusion” will make the Hunter’s Moon appear larger than it actually is around sunset on Sunday (6:37 p.m.). This is because when the moon is lower in the sky, humans visually perceive it in relation to reference points on Earth. Whereas, when the moon is higher in the sky, it appears smaller due to the eyes registering it in comparison to “the vast hemisphere,” states the Farmer’s Almanac.
So stargazers, get ready for a dazzling lunar experience you won’t want to miss!