Science

See A Rare ‘Double’ Full Moon: The Two Precise Times To See The ‘Hunter’s Moon’ At Its Most Brilliant This Weekend

The first full Moon of fall 2022—the “Hunter’s Moon”—will look at its brilliant best not on one, but two successive evenings this weekend.

Named for the pre-winter hunting season, October’s full Moon is also sometimes called the Sanguine Moon, the “Dying Grass Moon” and the “Travel Moon.”

Whatever the name, it’s rising is sure to be a special celestial sight available to anyone who takes the time to plan to see this very precisely-timed gift of nature.

That goes double this month.

Here’s everything you need to know about the full “Hunter’s Moon” including exactly when, where and how to see it at its biggest, brightest and most colorful from where you are:

When is the ‘Hunter’s Moon?’

The full “Hunter’s Moon” will occur on Sunday, October 9, 2022.

Why to catch the ‘Hunter’s Moon’ at moonrise

Catch it as it rises and the full “Hunter’s Moon” will look both more colorful and larger than it will at any other time of night—but only for about 15 minutes.

Why the Hunter’s Moon will look orange

Ever heard of “Raleigh scattering?” Long wavelength red light travels more easily through Earth’s atmosphere than short-wavelength blue light, which strikes more particles and gets scattered. So a rising full Moon looks orange because you’re viewing it through a lot of atmosphere—for the same reason a setting Sun looks reddish.

What is the ‘Moon illusion?’

Watching the full Moon on the horizon gives your brain the chance to compare its size with what else it can see. This is the “Moon illusion,” which makes the full Moon seem bigger than it really is when seen between buildings or surrounded by trees and mountains.

Watching the ‘Hunter’s Moon’ rise in twilight

The full Moon is always best viewed as it rises because only on the night of the full Moon is it possible to see the Moon appear on the horizon during twilight. Since it usually rises about 50 minutes later each night it therefore rises during the early evening just before the night of full Moon and well after dark in the nights after the full Moon.

However, that’s not strictly true this month. Because it’s occurring close to equinox and because the moment of full Moon just works out well for the western hemisphere the Moon is rising only about 25 minutes later each night as seen from mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere. So this month there are actually two successive evenings when you can see the full (or thereabouts) Moon rise relatively soon after the Sun has set.

Best time to see the ‘Hunter’s Moon’

Here are the exact times to see October’s “Hunter’s Moon” from a few key cities, but do check the exact times of moonrise and moonset for your location. If you don’t see the full Moon peek above the horizon at precisely these times just wait for a few minutes. It will rise!

Just after sunset on Sunday, October 9, 2022

Sunday evening offers the best opportunity to see the full “Hunter’s Moon” rise into a twilight sky:

  • In New York sunset is at 6:26 p.m. EDT and moonrise is at 6:35 p.m. EDT (the moment of full Moon is at 3:56 p.m.EDT).
  • In Los Angeles sunset is at 6:28 p.m. PDT and moonrise at 6:39 p.m. PDT (the moment of full Moon is at 12:56 p.m. PDT).
  • In London sunset is at 6:22 p.m. BST and moonrise at 6:29 p.m. BST (the moment of full Moon is at 8:56 p.m. BST)

Just after sunset on Monday, October 10, 2022

Monday evening offers another opportunity to see the full “Hunter’s Moon” rise into a twilight:

  • In New York sunset is at 6:25 p.m. EDT and moonrise is at 6:59 p.m. EDT.
  • In Los Angeles sunset is at 6:26 p.m. PDT and moonrise at 7:07 p.m. PDT.
  • In London sunset is at 6:20 p.m. BST and moonrise is at 6:43 p.m. BST.

Where to see the ‘Hunter’s Moon’

The full Moon always rises in the east at dusk (opposite a sunset) and sets in the west the following morning (opposite a sunrise). You’ll more easily see it appear on the horizon if you get somewhere high-up, or go to a coast with a clear view of the horizon.

How to see the ‘Hunter’s Moon’

The first full Moon of the northern hemisphere’s fall season, the “Hunter’s Moon” will rise in the east just after sunset, shine brightly all night and then set in the west close to sunrise.

You don’t need any special equipment to see a full Moon. Your own unaided eyes are perfect. However, if you do have a a pair of binoculars then they will give you a stunning close-up. It’s perfectly safe.

When is the next full Moon?

The next full Moon after the “Hunter’s Moon” is sure to be special for some lucky humans. That’s because November 8, 2022’s full “Beaver Moon” will be swallowed by Earth’s mighty shadow in space.

Visible from North and South America and the Pacific, this very special 84-minute total lunar eclipse will see the full Moon turn a reddish color. Cue the “Blood Moon” moniker—and an ominous-sounding “Beaver Blood Moon!”

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.


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