This weekends full moon will likely draw your eye even more than a regular one does.
Newsweek reports that whats known as the full hunters moonthe first full moon after the harvest moonwill rise right around sunset, making it seem both much larger and more orange than usual. Though youll likely be able to spot it from Saturday, October 12 through the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 15, the best time to look up is Sunday night, October 13, when the moon reaches peak fullness.
According to The Old Farmers Almanac, the hunters moon may seem so huge because of a simple trick our eyes play on us called the moon illusion. Usually, when the moon is high and far from the horizon, its the main thing we see in the sky. Because the sky itself is so unfathomably vast, the moon looks pretty small. The hunters moon, however, appears lower in the sky, giving us a chance to view it next to things like trees and buildings. Since the moon is so much larger than those objects, our brains may process it with a better sense of scale.
The reason the hunters moon often glows orange is also related to its lower position. The moon is actually closer to us when its higher in the sky, so the light it reflects has to travel a shorter distance to reach our eyes, leaving the shorter wavelengths of blue light intact. When the moon is low, the air scatters those short blue wavelengths before they get to us, and only the longer, reddish wavelengths make it through.
Though we dont know for sure why its called a hunters moon, The Old Farmers Almanac suggests that it may have once indicated the beginning of prime hunting season, when hunters could easily spot animals in fields that harvesters had just cleared after the previous months harvest moon.
And, after the hunters moon has come and gone, be sure to catch the full beaver moon in November.