A rare celestial phenomenon will happen this October 2020: a blue moon wherein two full moons will appear in a month is happening.  The first of these moons is on Thursday (October 1) and is called the Harvest Moon, and the second or Blue moon will be on October 31, just in time for Halloween.

Blue moons, or having two full moons in a month, is very rare.  The second moon is called the "blue moon," but it does not appear blue unless there is a volcanic eruption. The moon only appears blue when there are enormous amounts of particles in the Earth's atmosphere, such as dust from a volcanic eruption. The dust would scatter different wavelengths, thus altering the color.

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The October 1 Harvest Moon

The moon on Thursday (October 1) is called the harvest moon.  It is the first full moon of the fall season, and the Harvest moon is associated with farmers working late on the field, and they had to rely on moonlight while working.

Algonquin tribes also called it the travel moon, dying grass moon, and sanguine or blood moon, associated with the falling of leaves, which happens in fall. Sanguine or blood moon is related to hunting to store food for the winter.

In Asia, the full moon is associated with meaningful festivals are Moon Festival and Mooncake Festival in China. Korea marks the Chuseok, a festival that commemorates harvest, and city dwellers are expected to visit their hometown to pay respect to the spirit of their ancestors.

In the previous years, the harvest moon occurs in September. This year, however, the moon shines in the October night sky as it is the full moon closest to the September 22 fall equinox.  The full moon in September is, however, called "corn moon."

To have a good view of the harvest moon on Thursday, find a good view at 5:05 p.m.  EDT (2015 UTC) when the moon appears on the "opposite" the sun in the Earth-based longitude, the NASA said.  Harvest moon will appear for three full days starting from September 30 until October 3, Saturday morning.

For people living in the Indian subcontinent, the full moon usually signifies the end of monsoon rains, which has caused floods, which cost several lives and damage to properties in the region.

The October 1 full moon may be called micro full moon as it is one of the smallest full Moons of the year.

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The October 31 Blue Moon

The blue moon on October 31 will shine brightly at 9:49 a.m. EDT (14:49 UTC).

 The bright moon shines this Halloween used to light trick or treaters in the dark, but this year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns that traditional trick-or-treat wherein children knock door to door handed candies poses a high risk of getting the coronavirus.

Other Skygazing Event to Look in October

NASA announced that a comet called C/2020 P1 (NEOWISE) might appear visible in the morning sky of October 17 or 18, 2020.  For now, NASA says it is less visible than the recent comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE). The comet was discovered on August 2, 2020.

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