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Mark Your Calendars: Largest Full Moon Since 1948 to Happen in November, Rare Hunter's Supermoon This Weekend

Oct 15, 2016 03:54 AM EDT
Moon at its Fullest
It is expected that by tonight until tomorrow, the combination of Supermoon and Hunter's moon will be witnessed by the northern hemisphere countries. This will be the first of the three super full moons of 2016 and it is expected that by November, the nearest and possibly biggest full moon can also be viewed.
(Photo : ulrikebohr570/Public Domain/Pixabay)

By tonight until Oct. 16, prepare for a moon-mazing experience as the night skies showcase the combined Hunter and Supermoon -- the first of the three expected full moon/supermoons of the year!

According to an article from ScienceAlert, the moon's perigee this year will result in an astonishing combination of the Hunter Moon and Supermoon. The event will be experienced by the northern hemisphere due to the Autumn Equinox.

Usually called as the Blood moon due to its reddish-orange color, the Hunter's Moon is expected to rise 30 to 35 minutes later after dusk, which is earlier than the usual moon rise that is normally around 50 minutes after sunset, as explained by Matt Williams on Universe Today. Thus, the term "Hunter's Moon" was used due to the extended light source of hunters as provided by the full moon.

What makes the Hunter's Moon interesting is its catchy color and size that appears to be bigger than the usual full moon. Deborah Byrd of EarthSky explains further in her report that the physical effect and combination of atmospheric dynamics, including the oval-shaped orbit of the moon, create the Hunter's Moon's facade.

"The orange color of a moon near the horizon is a true physical effect. It stems from the fact that -- when you look toward the horizon -- you are looking through a greater thickness of Earth’s atmosphere than when you gaze up and overhead," Byrd explained. 

"The atmosphere scatters blue light - that’s why the sky looks blue. The greater thickness of atmosphere in the direction of a horizon scatters blue light most effectively, but it lets red light pass through to your eyes. So a full moon near the horizon -- any full moon near the horizon -- takes on a yellow or orange or reddish hue."

To watch the rare full moon of the 21st century, you should check the schedule when the moon turns full based from your time zone, and remember that your area should be located in the northern hemisphere.

If residing at the southern hemisphere, the supermoon can be viewed around March which is the corresponding Autumn Equinox of the north. Nov. 14 is also a date to remember since it will be showing the largest full moon of the year, and possibly the closest and largest full moon since 1948!

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