There is a Full Moon tonight, Thursday, October 1, 2020. But not just any full moon.
That’s because this Full Moon is a low-hanging Harvest Moon that will appear big and orange when it rises.
What Time Does The 2020 Harvest Moon Occur?
On Florida’s east coast, the Harvest Moon will rise over the Atlantic Ocean around 7:24 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, October 1, 2020, and set the following morning around 8:39 a.m., with some slight time variation (+/- 20 minutes) depending on the viewer’s exact location in Florida.
The Moon will be technically 99.4% full just before moonrise at 5:05 p.m. EDT, according to NASA.
When is the best time to watch October’s Full Moon?
Low hanging moons near the horizon appear larger to humans.
So, the Harvest Moon will appear biggest to the naked eye on the U.S east coast during and just after the moonrise.
However, this is an optical illusion because this full Moon is near its apogee will actually be smaller than most full moons.
Why is October’s Full Moon Called a Harvest Moon or Blood Moon?
The full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox is called a Harvest Moon. 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.
According to the Maine Farmer’s Almanac, as the full Moon in October and the first full Moon of Fall, the Algonquin tribes in the northeastern U.S. called this the Travel Moon, the Dying Grass Moon, or the Sanguine or Blood Moon.
The “Blood Moon” name is believed to come from the blood associated with hunting or the turning of leaves to red during the Fall.
Are Blood Moons Red?
The date of a full moon, all by itself, doesn’t affect the full Moon’s color.
However, because this is a low-hanging moon, the Moon’s light reflected from the Sun must travel through more atmosphere, which can turn the color of the moon orange-yellow.
In this video, a low-hanging Blood Moon rises over the Atlantic Ocean, which appears big and yellow.