October's Full Moon Rises Tonight: Learn Its Lunar Names

Full Moon Over Puerto Rico
A brilliant full moon rises over Caguas, Puerto Rico on Aug. 10, 2014 in this stunning photo by photographer Fernando Roquel Torres. The full moon of October 2015 rises on Oct. 27, 2015. (Image credit: Fernando Roquel Torres, Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe)

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: spacephotos@space.com.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him  @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.