What to know about the Hunter’s Moon and how to see it this weekend

As people dress up as their favorite characters and prepare to satisfy their sugar cravings, sky watchers will be in for a pre-Halloween treat: This year’s Hunter’s Moon will light up the sky Saturday night. Visitors will not only see the full moon, but some lucky viewers will also see a partial lunar eclipse.

The moon is not the only celestial sphere on the big stage. Jupiter – the largest planet in our solar system – will try to outshine the Moon, although the Moon will still be the brightest spot in the sky. A gas giant hangs south of the Moon.

“What’s special about the moon this time of year is that it gets dark earlier, it gets darker later, and the moon rises right at sunset, so you get these beautiful low moons in the sky,” Nova Pedro said. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Program Scientist at NASA.

Here’s everything you need to know about the weekend.

Why is it called the hunter’s moon?

Different cultures give names to the moon, often based on common seasonal functions. The Hunter’s Moon, also known as the Falling Leaf Moon and the Frost Moon, marks a time of year when tribal groups stock up on food for the winter — especially deer and other prey fattened up after feasting all summer. The Hunter’s Moon is usually in October – every four years the Hunter’s Moon appears in November.

The Hunter’s Moon and the preceding Harvest Moon are characterized by 30-minute moonrises—compared to the usual 50 minutes. Basically, these are evening moonrises. Long hours of daylight make full moons in September and October ideal for harvesting and hunting. The moon will rise at the same time on several nights before and after the Hunter’s Moon.

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Who can see a partial lunar eclipse?

Sky watchers in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia are in for a special treat this weekend as they will see a partial lunar eclipse – the last lunar eclipse of the year.

A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the imperfect alignment of the Sun, Earth, and Moon causes part of the Earth’s shadow to obscure parts of the Moon—but not completely.

But according to Pedro, it may not be so obvious. This will be a very subtle partial eclipse.

“It may not be something that people immediately recognize,” Pedro said. “The Moon will pass through part of the Earth’s shadow, so it will fade.”

Lunar eclipses always occur on the heels of solar eclipses, Pedro said. Two weeks later to be exact. The “Ring of Fire” eclipse graced our skies two weeks ago.

Unlike solar eclipses, which require protective glasses, a lunar eclipse requires no special equipment because you won’t be looking at the Sun.

The Earth will begin as a buffer between the Moon and the Sun at 19:35 UTC, which will be 3:35 PM Eastern Time on October 28 (Universal Time is four hours ahead of Eastern Time). Earth will stop its position at 20:52 UTC.

Where and when can this moon be seen?

Since the Hunter’s Moon is a full moon, the moon is 100 percent luminous. Remember that the moon rises in the east and sets in the west. Here are the best times to watch it in certain time zones:

Moonrise: 6:06 PM Eastern Time

Moonrise: 5:44 PM Central Time

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Moonrise: 6:04 PM Pacific Time

See other new moon and new moon times Here.

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