Science

How to see the hunter’s full moon for October this Wednesday (October 20)

This week’s full moon will shed a pale light on October’s spooky carved Halloween pumpkins and fall-toned leaves this Wednesday morning (October 20).

The moon will be full at exactly 10:57 a.m. EDT (2:57 p.m. GMT) on Wednesday, when the sun, Earth, and moon align (in that order), according to NASA. Because the moon’s orbit is about 5 degrees different from Earth’s, it is often slightly higher or lower than Earth’s shadow, allowing the sun to bathe the side of the moon that it faces. toward Earth with light when there is a full moon, Andrea Jones, a NASA science communicator, previously told Live Science in a video interview.

The October Hunter’s Moon will appear full for three days, from Monday night (October 18) to Thursday night (October 21). Sky watchers can catch another treat too; The Orionid meteor shower peaks on Wednesday, although the light from the full moon can make it difficult to see the “shooting stars” in the shower, Space.com, a sister site to Live Science, reported.

Related: ‘Ring of Fire’ Solar Eclipse Wows Skywatchers (Photos)

The October full moon is commonly known as the hunter’s moon, first used in 1710, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Hunters can find fattened animals, such as deer, at this time of year, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, NASA reported.

According to the now-defunct Maine Farmer’s Almanac, which, in the 1930s, reported the names of Native American moons, common names for the October moon included Travel Moon, Dying Grass Moon, and Sanguine or Blood Moon, among the Algonquin tribes of North America, NASA reported. Some of these names probably refer to leaves that change color in fall and the back of the plants die, while Sanguine and Blood Moon refer to hunting.

Travel Moon can refer to the migration of birds and other animals preparing for winter. “I don’t know, but this name may also refer to the season when the northernmost tribes would come down from the mountains during the winter,” Gordon Johnston, a NASA program executive, wrote in a post. “For example, both the Iroquois and the Algonquians hunted in the Adirondacks in the summer, but they left to avoid the harsh winter in the mountains.”

Meanwhile, in India, the October full moon coincides with the seasonal monsoon rains. For Hindus, this full moon marks the Sharad Purnima harvest festival. The full moon also marks the end of a three-month meditation period for Buddhist monks known as Vassa, or “rainy retreat” which is also known as Buddhist Lent.

Scientists recently coined a new nickname for this full moon: Lucy Moon, in honor of NASA’s Lucy mission that launched on October 16 and is traveling to the Trojan asteroids. These asteroids orbit the sun with Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. Lucy will spend 12 years exploring seven of these asteroids, as well as a main asteroid belt asteroid that Lucy will encounter on her way, NASA reported.

As for the Orionid meteor shower, sky watchers in the northern and southern hemispheres can see up to 20 meteors per hour, Space.com reported. That’s far more than the average of five meteors per hour that sky watchers can see on other nights, Live Science previously reported. Meteorites, known colloquially as shooting stars, are fragments of space rocks that burn up in bright streaks through Earth’s atmosphere. The best views of the meteor shower will be away from the city lights, but the light of the full moon will probably make it difficult to see these beauties.

“Frankly, the Orionids are going to suck this year … the moon will be up all night, from dusk to dawn,” NASA meteorite expert Bill Cooke told Space.com.

Orionid meteors come from detached pieces of Comet 1P / Halley, better known as Halley’s Comet, which passes through Earth approximately every 75 years. The meteor shower appears to come from the constellation Orion, the hunter, which is how the shower got its name. The best time to see the meteor shower is around 2 a.m. local time on October 20, but if you miss the peak, you can still catch the meteor shower until it subsides in late October, Cooke told Space.com .

Originally posted on Live Science.

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