Monday, October 26, 2015

Hunter's Full Moon Another 'Super Moon'


The Hunter's Moon (Image Source: NASA).

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

The annual Hunter's Moon is visible, weather permitting, Monday and Tuesday evenings / early Tuesday and Wednesday mornings this week, as well as a near-Full Hunter's Moon for the rest of the week. And, as with last month's Harvest Moon, this month's Hunter's Moon is also a so-called 'Super Moon.'

Actually, the exact moment of the Full Moon of October, known as the Hunter's Moon most years, is 8:05 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 12:05 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Tuesday Morning, 2015 October 27.

While the Native Americans, as well as the farmers of Europe and early America, gave names to each Full Moon of the year, normally associating each Full Moon name with a particular month of the year, two well-known Full Moon names stray from this convention. The annual Harvest Moon and the annual Hunter's Moon are aligned with the season of Autumn or Fall, and each can occur in one of two possible months each year.

The Harvest Moon is defined as the Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox; the Autumnal Equinox occurs each year around September 23. Of course, the Harvest Moon can, and often does, occur in late Summer, before the Autumnal Equinox. The Hunter's Moon is simply defined as the Full Moon following the Harvest Moon.

So, in certain years (approximately one-third of the time), the Harvest Moon occurs in early October, as then the Full Moon of October is closer to the Autumnal Equinox than the September Full Moon. Then, the Hunter's Moon is pushed-off until early November.

The Hunter's Moon, as with the Harvest Moon, is special, because it gave our ancestors more light in the evening, as the Sun was setting earlier each day. On average, the Moon rises about 50.47 minutes later from one day to the next. However, during the week around the time of the Hunter's Moon and the Harvest Moon, the Moon rises only about a half-hour later each day, for several days before and after the Hunter's Moon or Harvest Moon in mid-northern latitudes (and only 10-to-20 minutes later each day in much of Canada and Europe).

On average, the Full Moon rises about the time of sunset (and sets around the time of sunrise). During the week around the time of the Harvest Moon, and the time of the Hunter's Moon, the time between sunset and moonrise is much shorter than at other times of the year. This is due to the inclination of the Moon's orbital plane, this time of year, which causes the Moon to rise further north along the eastern horizon.

This meant that, for a week around the time of the Harvest Moon, farmers had light into the evening which allowed them to finish harvesting their crops.

In the case of the week around the time of the Hunter's Moon, this gave our ancestors light in the evening to hunt more game, to save for the coming long Winter. By the time of the Hunter's Moon, the crops had all been harvested, ensuring that game could not find hiding places in farm fields, as fox and other animals tried to glean left-overs in the fields. Likewise, with many trees barren of leaves, it was easier for hunters to find their prey in the forests.

At this time of year, deer and other animals were fattening themselves for the long Winter. Hence, this was the perfect time for hunting these animals. The Hunter's Moon served as a warning, to both European farmers as well as North American tribes, of the looming cold and snowy days of Winter. Hence, the Hunter's Moon was often an important feast day in both Europe and America.

In the Northern Hemisphere, Native Americans also called the October Full Moon the Blood Moon or Sanquine Moon. They were also known to call the month of October the Leaf-Falling Month or the Nuts Month.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the October Full Moon was known as the Egg Moon, Fish Moon, Seed Moon, Pink Moon, and Waking Moon. The Hunter's Moon for the Southern Hemisphere usually occurs in April, while the Harvest Moon usually occurs in March near the Vernal Equinox.

This year's Hunter's Moon is also a so-called 'Super Moon,' as was last month's Harvest Moon. This is because lunar perigee occurred almost exactly 23 hours prior to the Hunter's Moon: 9:00 a.m EDT / 13:00 UTC on Monday Morning, 2015 October 26. The Moon was then only 358,464 kilometers from the Earth. As with many lunar perigee Full Moons, large tides are predicted along ocean coastlines, at that time.

Also, at the time of the Hunter's Moon this year, the Planet Uranus would appear to be near the Moon in the sky, if it could be seen. However, Uranus is very difficult to find, at this time, due to the brightness of the Full Moon.

More about the Hunter's Moon ---
Link 1 >>> http://earthsky.org/tonight/almost-full-hunters-moon-couples-up-with-uranus-october-26
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_moon#Harvest_and_hunter.27s_moons

More on the so-called "Super Moon": Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermoon

More on the Full Moon: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_moon

More on Full Moon names ---

Link 1 >>> http://www.farmersalmanac.com/full-moon-names/
Link 2 >>> http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/full-moon-names
Link 3 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_moon#Harvest_and_hunter.27s_moons


Related Blog Posts ---

"TONIGHT: 'Blood / Super' & Harvest Moon Tetrad Eclipse w/ Web-Casts." 2015 Sept. 27.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2015/09/tonight-blood-super-harvest-moon-tetrad.html

 

"Harvest Moon: 3rd 'SuperMoon' of 2014." 2014 Sept. 8.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/09/harvest-moon-3rd-supermoon-of-2014.html

 

"Harvest Moon: Thursday 7:13 a.m. EDT." 2013 Sept. 17.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/09/harvest-moon-thur-713-am.html


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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