Now that we’re well into October (yes, Halloween is just a couple of weeks away, so you better have your costume ready), there are a handful of items to check off on your fall bucket list. It just isn’t autumn without baking a few delicious apple desserts and carving jack-o’-lanterns with the family, but there’s another activity that’s kid-friendly and educational you should try. Plus, adults will enjoy it, too. On Wednesday, October 20, you’ll be able to see the Hunter’s Moon, the full moon of October.
The Hunter’s Full Moon will reach its peak brightness at 10:57 a.m. EST, according to the Farmers’ Almanac ($8, Amazon). Of course, you won’t be able to see the event during the day very well, so you’ll have to wait until sundown to get the full effect. Although the full moon won’t technically be at its peak, it will still be plenty big and bright for you to see.
Like the Harvest Moon, the full moon in September, the Hunter’s Moon isn’t tied to folklore, but the autumnal equinox, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac ($9, Amazon). It’s thought that the term Hunter’s Moon, also called the Sanguine or Blood Moon, comes from the fact that this period of the year is when it’s time to hunt for animals for the winter. Like all full moons, there are alternate options to call the celestial event. The Dakota call it the Drying Rice Moon, the Anishinaabe refer to it as the Falling Leaves Moon, the Ojibwe say it’s the Freezing Moon, the Haida call it the Ice Moon, and the Cree refer to it as the Migrating Moon.
To prepare for the event, make sure you have a telescope ready to go, such as the top-rated Gskyer Telescope ($90, originally $130, Amazon). (One 5-star reviewer writes, “Looking through the telescope in person is wayyyy more beautiful and so many more details that the camera just did not catch!”) If watching celestial happenings is on your must-do list, the Hunter’s Moon is one you won’t want to miss.