Blue Moon for Halloween. Calgary, Alberta, Canada, October 31, 2020. © J. Ashley Nixon
The full moon that shone brightly over Halloween this year was a rarity: the second in the same calendar month. For that reason, and not its colour, it is known as a Blue Moon. The first full moon of October (which more often comes up in September but occurred on October 1 this year) is known traditionally as the Harvest Moon since it lit up the fields to gather in the crops.
This second moon of the month is also called a Hunter’s Moon because of its old connections with the hunting season to stock up meat ahead of the coming northern winter. Blue Moons occur about every 32 months, although this one was special as it was open for viewing across the globe-the first time since 1944.
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