October will see two rare full moons this month

Harvest moon rises tonight

Skywatchers are in for a treat as the moon rises on Thursday.

October 1 marks the rise of the harvest moon, the name given to the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox.

2020 has been a strange year for many reasons and you can add full moons to the list. 2020 has 13 full moons rather than the typical 12 – and two of them occur in October. The next full moon rises on Halloween.

The harvest moon gets its name because farmers use the light of the full moon to harvest crops well into the night, according to the Farmer's Almanac.

According to NASA, the moon will appear full for about three days.

On October 2, look for Mars to appear to the upper left of the moon as it makes its closest approach to the Earth until the year 2035.

Typically, the next moon after the harvest moon is known as the hunter's moon – when hunters use moonlight to hunt prey and prepare for winter.

While a blue moon seems rare, a full moon on Halloween across time zones is even more rare – and hasn't happened since 1944.

Full moons do occur on Halloween every 19 years in some time zones, so that means the next one will be in 2039.

The full Halloween blue hunter's moon on October 31 also marks the last day of Daylight Saving Time.

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