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Bright Orange Full Hunter's Moon Due On 13 October

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Bright Orange Full Hunter's Moon Due On 13 October

Good news for those of us who don't like it when the moon is visible in its standard size and colour - it won't be on Sunday 13 October.

That's because it we'll get to see a Full Hunter's Moon, which - if we're lucky - will mean it appears massive and orange.

The moon is going to big and orange people, I repeat, the moon is going to be big and orange. Credit: PA
The moon is going to big and orange people, I repeat, the moon is going to be big and orange. Credit: PA

The moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox - which is when the sun shines almost directly over the equator - and it will peep its orange head shortly after sunset.

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All being well it should be quite the sight, and Tania de Sales Marques, astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, recommends people in the UK should pop out for a stroll to have a look at it after their tea (or dinner, if they live in the south).

Speaking to Country Living, she said: "The October full moon will happen on the 13th and is known as the Hunter's Moon. The Moon will rise just after sunset, at 18:35 and will be highest in the sky around midnight, so if you go for a walk after dinner and the skies are clear, face south and you should be able to spot a beautiful full moon."

So here's hoping it ain't a cloudy one.

Bob Berman, an astronomer for the Farmer's Almanac (which I'm sure you read on the daily), explained just why the moon will look so huge.

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Can't beat a big old lunar stare. Credit: PA
Can't beat a big old lunar stare. Credit: PA

He said: "When the moon is high overhead, it is dwarfed by the vast hemisphere of the heavens and appears to our eyes as a small disk in the sky.

"By contrast, when the moon is low, it is viewed in relation to earthly objects, such as chimneys or trees, whose size and shape provide scale. Your brain compares the size of the moon to the trees, buildings or other reference points, and suddenly, the moon looks massive."

I did not know that - interesting stuff. But why, Mr Berman, will it appear all reddish orangish?

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"When the moon is low in the sky, it is farther away from you than when it is directly overhead," he said.

"Because of this, the light that's being reflected off of a horizon-hugging moon has to travel a farther distance - and through more particles of air - to reach your eyes.

"By the time we perceive this light, the shorter wavelengths of light, the 'blue' ones, have been scattered by the air, leaving only the longer wavelengths, the 'red' ones, to reach our eyes. Thus, to us, the bluish hues are filtered out, and the moon takes on an orange tinge."

That's Sunday nights plans sorted, then. Well, if you're happy to stare endlessly at a big orange moon, that is.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Moon

Jake Massey
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