Seeing an unusual moon is always a rare but exciting treat, and it looks like we’re going to be graced with the presence of a bright orange Hunter’s Moon very soon.
October 13th is expected to present a bright orange Hunter’s Moon, which means that the full moon will appear to be huge and bright orange in color.
So what exactly is a Hunter’s Moon? It occurs when the full moon is closest to the autumnal equinox – which is when the sun shines almost directly over the equator.
This occurs twice a year, and as confusing as the process of the cosmological event is, the yearly occurrence of the Hunter’s Moon always results in a beautiful occasion.
Tania de Sales Marques, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich in the U.K, spoke to Country Living about the upcoming cosmological occurrence.
“The October full moon will happen on the 13th and is known as the Hunter’s Moon,” she said. “The Moon will rise just after sunset, at 18:35 (GMT) and will be highest in the sky around midnight.”
Astronomer for Farmer’s Almanac, Bob Berman, explained why the moon will look a lot larger than normal. “When the moon is high overhead, it is dwarfed by the vast hemisphere of the heavens and appears to our eyes as a small disk in the sky.”
“By contrast, when the moon is low, it is viewed in relation to earthly objects whose size and shape provide scale,” he went on to explain. “Your brain compares the size of the moon to the trees, buildings or other reference points, and suddenly, the moon looks massive.”
Berman goes on to explain what gives the moon it’s unusual orange color: “When the moon is low in the sky, it is farther away from you than when it is directly overhead.”
“Because of this, the light that’s being reflected off of a horizon-hugging moon has to travel a farther distance – and through more particles of air – to reach your eyes.”
“By the time we perceive this light, the shorter wavelengths of light, the ‘blue’ ones, have been scattered by the air, leaving only the longer wavelengths, the ‘red’ ones, to reach our eyes. Thus, to us, the bluish hues are filtered out, and the moon takes on an orange tinge.”
So it is recommended to keep our eyes peeled on the morning of Sunday 13th October for a truly beautiful cosmological phenomenon.