No trick, all treat: Get set for rare full blue moon on Halloween

Oct 28, 2020, 2:00 PM
(AP Photo, File)...
(AP Photo, File)
(AP Photo, File)

Halloween is near and this year may not have the social gathering of past, with COVID-19 lurking around the corner, but the night skies of Oct. 31 will be full of the light of a rare full moon.

That’s right – 2020 brings us a very rare full moon indeed, as we will experience the sight of a true full Halloween moon, not seen since 1944!

This will also be the second full moon in the calendar month of October and we call this a “blue” moon.

Observers in Australia and parts of the eastern hemisphere will actually have two full moons in November.

For the moon to be officially full, it must be 180 degrees from the sun.

What many of you think is a full moon may actually be close, but no Halloween treat for you.

With the color orange on your mind with Halloween pumpkins, the rising moon on Oct. 31 will be orange indeed.

The color blue will only be in the mind of the observer, as a blue moon is just a description of what the second full moon in a month and some even say that a blue moon is the third full moon in a season of four full moons.

Either way, here is what the Halloween full moon should look like upon rising at 5:59 p.m. Arizona time on that night, just to the left of true east at 74 degrees.

The moon, when at the 180 degree position in the night sky, should reveal little or no shadows on the surface, as you see during the majority of the monthly lunar cycle.

On this rather spooky night, the moon will lie in the constellation of Aries and will appear to the left of the bright planet Mars.

To be precise, the moon will be full at exactly 7:49 a.m. Arizona time on Halloween. This is during the day part and we will wait for its arrival in the eastern sky at 5:59 p.m.

What a great sight that will be, as you prepare for your Halloween night celebration!

Another unique fact about this Halloween blue moon: This will be the smallest of all full moons of 2020, sometimes known as a micro moon.

At that time, the moon will be 252,380 miles from us.

The closest of full moons in 2020 occurred April 8, when the moon was 221,851 miles away.

The distance between the closest and farthest moons is 30,529 miles. That is quite a difference.

Here is what the difference looks like in the size of the visible moon.

Even as a smaller moon, the amazing coincidence of a true full moon on Halloween night and a blue moon make for a most interesting night.

The next closest full moon, or perigee full moon, will occur May 26, 2021, at 222,116 miles away from us. On that date, we get to experience another total lunar eclipse.

To print your own monthly star chart, click here.

To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.

Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday morning at 3 a.m.

Dr. Sky Blog

This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, foregroun...
Steve Kates

DART asteroid deflection mission had all eyes on planetary defense

All eyes were on the skies Monday as a tiny spacecraft launched from earth last November attempted to deflect an asteroid.
4 days ago
(Unsplash Photo)...
Steve Kates

Mark your stargazing calendar for these upcoming October treats

As the year moves on, the skies of October will be some of the best that Arizona can offer!
11 days ago
The Strawberry Supermoon sets in front of the NASA Artemis rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard ...
Steve Kates

‘Cancer moonshot’ brings back memories of JFK space-race speech 60 years ago this week

President John F. Kennedy gave a speech 60 years ago to set a goal of sending men to the moon. Now, NASA is returning to the moon.
18 days ago
(Public Domain Pictures Photo)...
Steve Kates

Here’s how you can get a great view of the harvest moon Sept. 9

One of the most memorable of the full moons of 2022 is the upcoming harvest moon! Look for the rising harvest moon on the evening of Sept. 9.
25 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Steve Kates

September skies feature harvest moon, 4 of the planets for viewing

With fall just around the corner and the traditional end of the summer monsoon season, we will soon return to those great Arizona skies.
1 month ago
Liftoff of NASA's Space Launch System rocket and integrated Orion spacecraft is targeted for 8:33 a...
Steve Kates

Upcoming launch of Artemis I moon rocket kicks off another moon quest

The next great leap to space will occur soon with the launch of the Artemis I moon rocket.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
No trick, all treat: Get set for rare full blue moon on Halloween