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Harvest moon rises this week, blue moon on Halloween

We have a full moon on Thursday
Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 11:55 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2020 at 12:07 PM CDT
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(Gray News) – October’s a big month as far as celestial events are concerned.

A harvest moon rises Thursday, followed by a rare blue moon on Halloween.

The harvest moon is the full moon that appears closest to the official start of autumn, which was Sept. 22 this year.

“The name dates from the time before electricity, when farmers depended on the Moon’s light to harvest their crops late into the night,” according to NASA. “The Moon’s light was particularly important during fall, when harvests are the largest.”

This week’s harvest moon peaks at 5:06 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Viewing conditions will depend on the weather and skies in your area. The moon will look full a day before and after its peak.

Spooky times

Halloween’s blue moon is a thing of Hollywood dreams.

Despite what we see in the movies, a full moon on the ghoulish night is a rare occurrence. It only happens once every 18 to 19 years in any given area.

The last blue moon on Halloween across all time zones in the United States was in 1944, according to the Farmers' Almanac.

The Halloween full moon will also be known as the hunter’s moon, which is the first full moon to follow the harvest moon.

“This is the month when the game is fattened, and it is time to start preparing for the coming winter,” according to timeanddate.com. “Traditionally, this included hunting, slaughtering and preserving meats for use in the coming winter months.”

The Halloween hunter’s blue moon will peak at 10:49 a.m. ET.

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