Did you see the “Hunter’s Moon” this week as it rose above cities, mountains and oceans? A global army of photographers did—and this is what they saw.
Full on Wednesday, October 20, the “Hunter’s Moon” is so-called because it was at this time of the year that North American tribes gathered game for the long winter ahead.
It’s also traditionally called the “Blood Moon”—another reference to hunting—as well as the “Sanguine Moon,” “Travel Moon” and “Dying Grass Moon.”
Although the full Moon appears to look full on the night before and after to the casual moon-gazer, it’s important to see it on the night of full moonrise because it’s only then that our satellite appears on the eastern horizon in a twilight sky.
As it does so it appears orange. The physics behind the color of a moonrise is explained by a process called Rayleigh scattering.
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The oxygen and nitrogen molecules in Earth’s atmosphere are narrower than the wavelength of red light, so red light passes through while blue light doesn’t.
The next New Moon is on November 4, 2021. It’s going to be a “Super New Moon” because the Moon will be at its closest to the Earth in its egg-shaped monthly orbit.
New Moons are not visible—they’re precisely between the Sun and the Earth so the lit-side of the Moon is facing away from us—but it does mean high tides in the days after the event.
The next full Moon will be November 19’s “Beaver Moon”, which will be partially eclipsed by the Earth.
Observable from North America, South America, northern Europe, east Asia, Australia and the Pacific, it will be possible to see 97% of the Moon turn a reddish-brown color over about three and a half hours.
That’s sure to be a sight—and its kicks-off a short “eclipse season” that culminates two weeks later on December 4, 2021 with a rare total solar eclipse—in Antarctica!
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.