Next month’s Halloween, just ahead of the 2020 U.S presidential elections on November 4, is set to coincide with a rare Blue Moon.
In what is a fairly rare event itself, there will be two full moons in one calendar month, October 2020 in this case.
When this happens, the second full moon is named as a ‘blue’ moon. It will not necessarily appear blue in color.
Instances of the moon looking blue in appearance can occur. But that’s only under very specific conditions – when the the atmosphere is filled with dust or smoke particles measuring roughly 900 nanometers. These particles serve to disperse red light reflecting off the moon – in such a manner that it looks blue.
But even if the moon does not appear blue on Halloween, we can still look forward to spectacular bright full moon on the night. Which should make for some great photo opportunities, together with peoples’ spooky consumes.
It’s been 19 years since the last time full moon occurred on Halloween, back in 2001. So for kids in particular, this will be a first.
Ghosts, Halloween, a Honey Full Moon, a meteor shower….and Uranus gets closer to earth
The full moon which has just passed on September 2, corresponds to the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival.
This is the day that ghosts and spirits – including those of deceased ancestors, come to visit the living.
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Also to look out for in October is the Southern Taurid meteor shower. It will peak on October 10 but will still be visible until mid November.
For Buddhists in places like Thailand and Bangladesh, the full moon which we saw on September 2 is called the Honey Full Moon. According to the legend, Buddha was fed fruit by an elephant and brought honeycomb by a monkey, while spending time in the forest trying to broker peace between two monastic factions.
Also on October 31, Uranus will be directly lined up with the Sun and the Earth. At this point Uranus will be at its closest location to Earth. It will be fully lit up by the Sun and therefore brighter than at any other time of the year.
It will be still however only appear as a blue-green dot to the naked eye and a binoculars or telescope is preferable.