Two full moons this Halloween month, kicking of with Blood Moon Oct. 1 - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Two full moons this Halloween month, kicking of with Blood Moon Oct. 1

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The skies are cooperating with the mood of Halloween season in 2020. NASA says that October will be a “Blue Moon” month because two full moons will occur.

The first full moon is set to officially occur at 3:05 pm Thursday, Oct. 1 when it is directly opposite the Sun. NASA says the moon will continue to appear full through Saturday morning.

The second full moon, the “Blue Moon,” will occur on Oct. 31.

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“In recent years, people have been using the name Blue Moon for the second of two full moons in a single calendar month,” NASA says. “An older definition of Blue Moon is that it’s the third of four full moons in a single season.”

NASA adds that the first full moon of the month goes by many names, including:

  • the Harvest Moon
  • the Travel Moon
  • the Dying Grass Moon
  • the Sanguine or Blood Moon
  • the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon
  • Mooncake Moon
  • Reunion Festival Moon
  • the Chuseok Moon
  • the Tsukimi Moon or “Moon-Viewing” Festival Moon
  • the Potato Harvest Moon or Imomeigetsu
  • the Pavarana Moon
  • Boun Suang Huea or Boat Racing Festival Moon
  • Vap Poya Moon
  • the Moon associated with the start of Sukkoth

“As the full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox (the end of summer and start of fall), this is the Harvest Moon,” NASA says. “During the harvest season farmers sometimes need to work late into the night by the light of the Moon.”

“The full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, 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. The Harvest Moon is an old European name with the Oxford English Dictionary giving 1706 as the year of its first published use. Most years the Harvest Moon falls in September but this is one of the years it falls in October.”

NASA also provides details about the significance of this full Moon in cultures around the world.