Anyone knows that if you look up at the sky at night you will see the moon in one of its various phases; however, the ones that catch our eyes the most are full moons. One thing many don’t realize about them is they typically have names; this one is called the Hunter’s moon.

What is the Hunter’s Moon and how it got its name? The Hunters’ Moon is the first full moon that falls after the Harvest Moon which was in September of this year, which in turn is the closest full Moon to the autumn equinox. The name for the Hunter’s Moon likely originated from the fact that this event marked a good time to go hunting for wild game before the long, cold winter. The added moonlight was useful for hunting. Given that farmers had previously cleared out their fields following the harvest, animals were putting on weight before the winter, which would have made them more easily visible. Since the farmers had recently cleaned out their fields under the Harvest Moon, hunters could easily see the deer and other animals that had come out to root through the remaining scraps. Also if you look at the moon, on this night, to the right you will see what looks like a big star but it’s actually a planet. This planet is Jupiter. 

The difference between the Harvest and Hunters Moon? The Harvest moon is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox which happens around the 22nd or 23rd of September, occurring anytime within two weeks before or after that date. This year, the Harvest Moon was Saturday, September 10th. The Hunter’s moon is the full moon following it.

When is it? Sunday, October 9, 2022. The Hunter’s moon will reach its highest illumination point around 4:54 p.m. at which point it will be below the horizon in North America. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, anyone who would like to catch the best view of the full moon will have to wait until after sunset for it to become most visible. The Hunter’s Moon only comes every three years so the next appearance of it will be in November of 2025.

How long will it last? Normally, the moon rises about one hour later each night. But the Harvest and the Hunter’s Moon come up only about half an hour later each night, which begins a couple of nights before this full moon and goes for 3 or 4 nights in a row. 

What are full moons? Full moons are a lunar phase that occur approximately once every month when our natural satellite is located opposite to the sun in space, with the Earth in between. That is why all full moons rise around the time of sunset and set about the time of sunrise. During the full-moon phase, the side facing us is completely illuminated by the sun’s light, appearing like a perfect circle in the sky.