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

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!

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.

But for 2020 on through the balance of the 21st century, a full Moon on Halloween will occur once every 19 years.

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.”

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!

44 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
44 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Annie
Annie
10 months ago

looking forward to the Super Moons thank you Farmers Almanac

Susan Higgins
10 months ago
Reply to  Annie

Thank you, Annie!

Laura Haber
Laura Haber
1 month ago
Reply to  Annie

Awesome information..Thank you!! Blessed Be.

Suzie
Suzie
10 months ago

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

Julie Zdrazil
Julie Zdrazil
10 months ago

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!

James DeFrancisco
James DeFrancisco
10 months ago

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

Laura
Laura
10 months ago

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

Gretchen
Gretchen
10 months ago

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

Susan Higgins
10 months ago
Reply to  Gretchen

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!

Tim
Tim
10 months ago

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!

Susan Higgins
7 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Hi Tim, yes, many studies have been done. We covered some of this in our article found here: Will The Full Moon Affect Your Health?

Em See
Em See
10 months ago

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!

Susan Higgins
10 months ago
Reply to  Em See

Glad we could brighten your year, Em See!

Vickey Yanik
Vickey Yanik
10 months ago

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. ✌

Katrinastarbeck
Katrinastarbeck
10 months ago

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.

School Teacher
School Teacher
10 months ago

I tell the students about the Farmers Almanac almost daily.

Thank you for the the information.

Susan Higgins
10 months ago
Reply to  School Teacher

Thank you, School Teacher! It’s a great resource! Thank you for teaching our students.

Temi
Temi
29 days ago
Reply to  School Teacher

School teacher, you are missed . From Night shift elementary school custodian.

Michael Newmark
Michael Newmark
8 months ago

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

Grace Garcia Sutcliffe
Grace Garcia Sutcliffe
8 months ago

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

Mr.Mooney
Mr.Mooney
1 month ago

The Google play store.

Temi
Temi
29 days ago
Reply to  Mr.Mooney

Mr. Mooney, when I hear of the name, I think of Lucille Ball.

Isabelle
Isabelle
7 months ago

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

Bozhidara
Bozhidara
6 months ago

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

Susan Higgins
6 months ago
Reply to  Bozhidara

Hi Bozhidra, we aren’t classifying the May 7th full Moon as a Supermoon. It doesn’t quite measure up. April’s full Moon was our true supermoon for 2020. You can read more about it here.

Maya
Maya
2 months ago

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

Tommie
Tommie
2 months ago

How to charge your crystals that night.

Susan Higgins
2 months ago
Reply to  Tommie

Hi Tommie, that’s not really our area of expertise, but this website we located seems to be a good source.

Temi
Temi
29 days ago
Reply to  Tommie

I dont have any crystal ‘s but lately have interest in obtaining one. What do I need to know about charging one? Thank you.

emmawilder
emmawilder
2 months ago

T’will be magnificent!

Vicky
Vicky
1 month ago

Personally I cannot wait for 2020 to end!!

Kitty kitty
Kitty kitty
30 days ago
Reply to  Vicky

Me to

person with name reserved
person with name reserved
29 days ago
Reply to  Kitty kitty

kitty, you know it 😐

Kim
Kim
1 month ago

Love this , love Halloween

Lynn
Lynn
1 month ago

I will miss seeing my grandkids.

Joy Weimer
Joy Weimer
1 month ago

Love all colors and shapes of the moons and their different names.

Dan Scoville
Dan Scoville
1 month ago

“A full moon on Halloween occurs roughly once every 19 years . . . ” That is incorrect. We often see several decades pass between Halloween full moons, and the average is, not surprisingly, once every 29.5 years

Susan Higgins
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan Scoville

Hi Dan, have added that from 2020 on through the balance of the 21st century a Full Moon on Halloween occurs once every 19 years.

KIPTON
KIPTON
29 days ago
Reply to  Dan Scoville

Wow so cool my mind is blown with amazement.

Jeffrey Hasty
Jeffrey Hasty
28 days ago

Please explain what you mean by “all time zones”. All 24 time zones? US time zones?

Sandi Duncan
26 days ago
Reply to  Jeffrey Hasty

US time zones.

jacqueline
jacqueline
28 days ago

what time will i be able to see the blue moon here in florida

Trista
Trista
27 days ago

So did the question get answered? When was the last time a full BLUE moon landed on Halloween night?

Clarissa
Clarissa
27 days ago

I took pictures of the full moon on October 30, 2020 and of October 31, 2020. In the picture of the full moon on October 30, 2020 a vertical bright beam light appeared on moon. The pictures I took before this one and after it did not show this beam light. What could it be?