Yes, you’re read that right. A pretty rare event and the first time most of us – a Blue Moon will be visible on a Halloween night this Saturday. The moon will be full across the entire Northern Hemisphere. The last time this happened was back in 1944. And it will not happen again until 2039!
Remember those Halloween* scenes with pictured full Moon? Get ready, this year’s Halloween will be a special event. A full Blue Moon!
On average, a full Moon occurring on Halloween happens every 18 to 19 years. But it normally happens, that a full Moon is visible across just a part of the Northern Hemisphere, so not a complete circle.
The last time this happened across the all-time zones was on Halloween day, October 31st, 1944. So 76 years ago!
The next full moon is coming up on Saturday, October 31st. It is the second of the 2 full moons in a single calendar month, therefore we call it a Blue Moon. The other full moon was on October 2nd this year.
The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Thursday night through Sunday night, making this weekend a full Moon weekend.
*Halloween is also known as All Hallows’ Eve and it always occurs on the last day of October, the 31st. Only the day of the week that changes from year to year.
Note: The moon will not really be in blue color, it’s just its name only. But there will also be the planet Mars, shining red beside the Moon.
And this event falls right on Halloween. How cool is that now?
The first full moon that follows the autumn equinox is called the Harvest Moon*. The Moon needs about 29.5 days to complete one cycle of phases (from new Moon to new Moon).
This gives you the idea that if a full moon occurs on the first of a month, there will surely be a second full Moon coming at the end of the month. Unless it is the shortest month, February.
This event called a Blue Moon. In fact, every Halloween full moon is also a Blue Moon. As both events occur within the same month.
So, bottom line: the ‘Blue Moon’ is the full moon which is the second full Moon in a calendar month. It can happen in any month, however.
Typically, the next full moon that follows the Harvest Moon is called the Hunter’s Moon. But this year it is also called a Blue Moon. As both events occur within the same month.
The last time we had a second full moon in a single calendar month was on March 31st, 2018.
The ‘Harvest Moon’ is the full Moon which is the closest to the autumn equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. In 2020, the Northern Hemisphere autumn equinox came on September 22nd.
So, depending on where you live worldwide, the next full moon after the equinox was on October 1st and 2nd this year.
While in the Southern Hemisphere, the Harvest Moon always comes during March or even in early April.
But why is it called the Harvest Moon?
Here is a great explanation by Almanac.com:
“For several evenings, the moonrise comes soon after sunset. This results in an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, which was a traditional aide to farmers and crews harvesting their summer-grown crops. Hence, it’s called the “Harvest” Moon!
There are just a little over 12 complete Moon cycles every year, on average (there being about 29.53 days in a synodic month). The Harvest Moon isn’t like the other Moons.
Usually, throughout the year, the Moon rises an average of about 50 minutes later each day.
But for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the northern USA, and only 10 to 20 minutes later farther north in Canada and Europe.
Additionally, the Full Harvest Moon rises at sunset and then will rise very near sunset for several nights in a row because the difference is at a yearly minimum. It may almost seem as if there are full Moons multiple nights in a row!”
VIEWING CONDITIONS ACROSS EUROPE
The large scale pattern over Europe on Saturday night will consist of an Omega blocking pattern spread across the central parts of the continent. A close cold-core low will be placed over the eastern Balkan peninsula and the Black Sea region.
To the west of the upper ridge, a very deep North Atlantic depression will be ongoing. Therefore, a strong western flow of humid and rainy weather into western Europe.