Have you felt the little chill in the air? This October is turning out to be chillier than usual. But that’s not all of it. This Halloween, you are in for some cosmic treats. Trust me, you’ll be surprised.
Firstly, this time, the full moon, popularly known as ‘hunter’s moon’, can be spotted on the 24th of October 2018. It will reach its fullest phase at 12:45 pm Eastern time on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, it will be near to full, while on the night of Thursday, it will be almost full. So, that’s one unfortunate event – no full moon on Halloween or ghostly shadows moving around it this year. But there’s good news too.
Astronomers have said that it will be a good time for the sky events set for next autumn – in early days of November, there’ll be the Northern Taurid meteor shower and in the middle days of November, the Leonid meteor shower is set to take place.
One full moon, many names
You might have heard different names for the Hunter’s moon. Generally, this is the popular title because it coincides with the hunting season. But the Farmer’s Almanac has bestowed different names to this October Full moon. You may come across names like the ‘sanguine moon’ or perhaps, the ‘blood moon’.
A NASA science blog clears up the confusion. These names may have originated to match with the blood collected or the turning of the color of leaves in autumn. Native Americans have given another name for it. The Algonquin people of the northeast call it the ‘beaver moon’.
This could be due to the timing – this time in the middle of the autumn is best suited for setting beaver traps. It could also be the time when beaver get busy for their winter preparations. Too many names for one full moon, isn’t it? It’s mesmerizing how we came up with such varied names.
November Meteor Showers
The past weekend you may have seen the Orionid meteor shower. Traces of the shower will remain through November 7th. But this change will come with a fresh burst of meteor shower! The November 11th and 12th is the time when the Northern Taurid will be peaking over the night.
It might be overlooked though, since it will only bring in five meteors, but if you are a keen sky-observers, you just might spot a fireball lighting up the entire sky. It’s just another bright meteor. But trust me, it will be a pretty thrilling experience. The November 17th and 18th will be the time for the Leonid meteor shower to peak and it’s going to take place overnight.
The moon phases will help you this time
But if you ever felt sad about the phases of the moon, here’s the good news – this time, because of the moon phases, there will be an increased visibility of the meteor showers. Now, think about it – the moon is near us, and if it’s full and bright, then you can’t possibly spot the meteors that easily.
But this time we are fortunate – the hunter moon is going to appear on October 24th and the new moon is going to come up on November 7th. By November 15th, the moon will be in the first quarter phase, and just half-full will be visible. So, during the meteor shower, the moon will be in the darkest phase and least bright. Go out and you can definitely see those flying bright ghosts sailing across the sky.
So, when is the November full moon going to rise?
The November full moon is scheduled to come up on the 23rd of November during the early morning hours. Ironically, though this is the moon which is popularly known as the ‘beaver moon’. At least, if you look at the dates, you can be pretty sure that the beaver’s moon won’t distract you sky-observers from experiencing the wonderful meteor showers.