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A Rare Halloween Blue Moon in 2020 – Mark Your Calendars!

A Rare Halloween Blue Moon in 2020 – Mark Your Calendars!

In January, we promised our readers that 2020 would be a stargazer’s treat, especially when it came to full Moons. In total, for 2020, we’ll have 13 full Moons, including 2 two Supermoons, and a full Moon on Halloween, which is more uncommon than you may realize. Read on to learn more!

13 Full Moons in 2020

January’s Wolf Moon was the first full Moon of 2020!

The first full Moon of 2020 howled onto the scene with January’s Wolf Moon on January 10th. And usually, we have one for each month, making the total 12 for the year. But on occasion, some months will have two full Moons. This is the case for October 2020: we’ll have a full Moon on Thursday, October 1st, which will be the Harvest Moon, and again on Saturday, October 31st—a Halloween full Hunter’s Moon in all time zones (the Moon turns full at 10:49 a.m. EDT), making this a super fun rare treat.

See all the dates and times of the year’s full Moons.

Rare Halloween Blue Hunter’s Moon in 2020

When we think of “All Hallow’s Eve,” many of us conjure up terrifying images of werewolves, goblins, zombies, and other scary things that go “bump” in the night, all lit up by a spooky full Moon. But how common is a Halloween full Moon? Apparently, not very.

Halloween full moon

In 2001, ghosts and goblins in Central and Pacific time zones trick-or-treated by the light of a full Moon, but a Halloween full Moon hadn’t appeared for everyone in all time zones since 1944!

Blue Moon Definition

For more than half a century, whenever two full Moons appear in a single month (which happens on average every 2 1/2 to 3 years), the second full Moon is christened a “Blue Moon.”

When you look at the full Moon on Halloween night, it won’t appear blue in color but you’ll be looking at something pretty uncommon. A full Moon on Halloween occurs roughly once every 19 years—a pattern known as the Metonic Cycle. 

This well-known lunar cycle was discovered in 432 BC by the Greek, Meton, of Athens. He determined that after 19 years have elapsed, the phase of the Moon will repeat on the same date.Well . . . not always. Because of slight variations in the Moon’s orbital period, and the number of leap days that intervene over a 19-year time span, the Metonic Cycle can be accurate only to within a day.

For a Halloween full Moon, the Metonic Cycle worked well early in the 20th Century—in the years 1925 and 1944.  But thereafter, using the cycle, the date of full Moon shifted a day to November 1st (in 1963, 1982, and 2001). But then, in 2020, it returned to October 31st. Making it a rarer sight, indeed.

Fun fact: Any time the Moon is technically “full” on October 31st (as it will be this year), it would also have to be a Blue Moon because the lunar cycle is only 29.5 days long.

There is an alternate definition of a “Blue Moon” —when there are 4 full Moons in a single season, the third is considered a “Blue Moon.” 

When’s The Next Halloween Full Moon?

According to astronomers, we will all see a 100%-illuminated Halloween full Moon (after 2020) in the years  2039, 2058, 2077, and 2096 (note the 19-year pattern). The good news is that even if the Moon is a day or two away from 100% full on any particular Halloween, it can still serve the purpose for a spooky backdrop since most people can’t tell the difference between a 98% illuminated Moon and a 100% “full” Moon (Cases in point: November 2, 2029, and October 30, 2031). Plan your costumes accordingly!

October’s Full Moon Dates and Times

October 1st – The full Harvest Moon, at 5:05 PM EDT

October 31st – The full Halloween Hunter’s Blue Moon (quite a mouthful!), at 10:49 AM EDT

We Had 2 Supermoons in 2020

For a Supermoon to occur, we can thank the shape of the Moon’s orbit, which is not a perfect circle, but an oval shape. That means when the Moon orbits the Earth each month, it reaches a point that’s farthest from the Earth, called apogee, and a point where it swings closest to Earth, called perigee.

According to how most people define a Supermoon, it occurs when the Moon is at least 90% of the way to its perigee position at the same time it is in its “full” phase.

Based on this definition, we experienced two Supermoons this year:

When we have a Supermoon, the Moon can appear as much as 14% larger and 30% brighter than a normal full Moon.

With all this special full Moon activity in 2020, be sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss a thing!

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  • Tommie says:

    How to charge your crystals that night.

  • Maya says:

    Will it be a blue moon all around the world? Or do you need to be somewhere specific to watch it’s full effect?

  • Bozhidara says:

    Is tomorrow a Supermoon, because a lot of people say it is

  • Isabelle says:

    My birthday is day before a full moon. Should I be happy, worried, or both?

  • Grace Garcia Sutcliffe says:

    Is there a site that would remind me of the upcoming important moon phases?

  • Michael Newmark says:

    How are the full moon times computed? Can some please send me a link that explains that?

  • School Teacher says:

    I tell the students about the Farmers Almanac almost daily.

    Thank you for the the information.

  • Katrinastarbeck says:

    I also love the fact that on Halloween there will be a blue moon. JordanStrong. I’m also extremely excited about having 13 Moon’s in 2020. I enjoyed reading all the above.

  • Vickey Yanik says:

    I can stare at the moon even when it’s not full, but when it is. I feel the most connected to it. It makes my soul come more alive I absorb all of the energy I can. ✌🏻

  • Em See says:

    Awesome! I love supermoons, and there´s going to be a rare Blue Moon on my favorite holiday- Halloween. This is why I´m super pumped right now- not only is Halloween on Saturday this year, there´s going to be a rare Halloween Blue Moon this year! Whoo!

  • Tim says:

    I can’t say science can back me up, but I do believe that when the moon is full more babies are born on those nights. My youngest brother was born it was a full moon<. Then two of my three children were born on full moon nights. I have talked with many mother's and many of them said that their babies were born on full moon nights. Maybe there is some science behind what I believe. The moon controls the ties of the oceans, highs and lows twice a day 365 days a year. We also know that many animals and birds the moon helps or even controls them, like the bats. I don't know if any one has ever done a study on full moon and women and even animals giving birth during this time, but I feel many people would enjoy reading about it. Just thinking!

  • Gretchen says:

    I DO notice how the Full Moon, affects behavior. Not only family, BUT OTHERS TOO!!
    Love learning about the planets, stellar & solar system. FASCINATING, & STILL EAGAR TO LEARN, IN MY OLD AGE!! 😍

    • Susan Higgins says:

      Thanks, Gretchen, so glad you enjoyed. I find it amazing too. And since working here for FA I have become quite the astronomy buff, pointing out things to people in passing!

  • Laura says:

    Halloween and a blue moon.Two of my favorite things!
    Looking forward to howling that night.
    Love this info.Thanks.

  • James DeFrancisco says:

    A full moon on my birthday January 10th at midnight. TY Farmers Almanac.

  • Julie Zdrazil says:

    Once in a Blue Moon by Earl Thomas Conley-RIP-we lost him in 2019, is one of my favorite songs! If you don’t know the song, Google it! What a beautiful voice & man!

  • Suzie says:

    Always a joy for me to read all this Luna information,
    Thanks SO much, I share it because I LOVE it!!

  • Annie says:

    looking forward to the Super Moons thank you Farmers Almanac

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