The full moon of October will rise tonight (Oct. 27) in a lunar treat just in time for Halloween this weekend, and it's a Hunter's Moon, so watch out for early werewolves.
Kidding aside, October's full moon is traditionally known as the Full Hunter's Moon, since it marked a great time to go hunting to gather food ahead of the northern winter, according to The Farmer's Almanac.
"With the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt," Space.com's skywatching columnist wrote of October's full moon earlier this year. "Since the fields have been reaped, hunters can ride over the stubble, and can more easily see the fox as well as the other animals that have come out to glean — all of which can be caught for a thanksgiving banquet after the harvest. [Watch: The Full Moon, Why It Happens and What It Means]
This month's full moon does have some other names it goes by. According to the Farmer's Almanac, it is also known as the Travel Moon and the Dying Grass Moon, with the latter also playing into the theme of the changing seasons. Astronomer Geoff Gaherty, Space.com's other skywatching columnist, also wrote that the October full moon is sometimes known as the Sanguine Moon, or Blood Moon, in his night sky guide for the month. It's an appropriately spooky name for a full moon occurring just ahead of Halloween.
October's full moon actually peaked early today at 8:05 a.m. EDT (1205 GMT), but the moon will shine big and bright all night long. However, to the average skywatcher the moon can still appear full on the nights before and after the exact date of the full moon.
So think of the moon's many names when you look up tonight. And if you are actually hunting on the Hunter's Moon, good luck!
Editor's note: If you capture a stunning view of October's full moon and you'd like to share it with Space.com and our news partners for a story of image gallery, send photos and comments in to managing editor Tariq Malik at: firstname.lastname@example.org.