Weather permitting, one incredible celestial sight will dominate the night sky on Sunday night. As Earth’s natural satellite waxes from First Quarter, it will get brighter and brighter until it rises at dusk on Sunday almost totally illuminated. However, this month’s full Hunter’s Moon will also appear to be particularly tiny, just 14 percent the size of the average Full Moon. October’s Full Moon is significantly smaller because it happens to be the most distant.
Our celestial satellite will be approximately 248,548 miles (400,000km) from Earth.
The Moon orbits Earth in a sightly elliptical orbit, which means our satellite consequently always has a point during its 27.3 day orbit when it is at its distant point from Earth.
This can happen at any time during the moon’s orbit; they’re as likely to occur when the moon is at First Quarter as when it’s full.
It is only when it a Full Moon coincides with when it near – known as a Supermoon – that anyone get excited.
When the furthest point coincides with a Full Moon, it is conversely known as a Micromoon.
When will the Hunter’s Moon arrive?
The Full Moon will take place at 10.08pm BST (9.08 UTC), coinciding with dusk in Europe.
The best times to look at the October Full Moon are at moonrise and moonset, when it appears close to the horizon.
At this time of year in the northern hemisphere that means it is set against an autumnal backdrop.
This month’s Full Moon could consequently make for some excellent photos.
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- When is the Hunter’s Moon? What is the meaning behind its name?
A Full Moon almost always rises at dusk and sets at sunset, so it will rise in darkness if you wait until Monday.
Moonrise on Sunday, October 13, 2019: The near-full moon will set in the west just before sunrise.
Moonset on Sunday, October 13, 2019: This is the one most people will watch.
A Full Moon will rise in the east almost coinciding with sunset in the west.
Moonrise on Monday, October 14, 2019: The near-Full Moon will set in the west just after sunrise.
Why is it named the Hunter’s Moon?
The Moon’s named phases are based on the traditions of Native American tribes.
These tribes would assign the Moon various names in relation to the changing seasons.
Each name is thought to reflect a specific change in the landscape or signal the time or hunting or gathering actives.
January’s Wolf Moon is named after the howling of wolves while February’s Hunger Moon earned its name due to the scarce food sources during mid-winter.
October’s Hunter’s Moon is named after the hunts carried out in preparation for winter.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac said: “Some folks believe that this Full Moon was called the Full Hunter’s Moon because it signalled the time to go hunting in preparation for winter.
“Since the harvesters had recently reaped the fields under the Harvest Moon, hunters could easily see the fattened deer and other animals that had come out to glean – and the foxes and wolves that had come out to prey on them.”
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