Full Hunter's Moon Will Bring Jupiter Into View, How To Watch The Spooktacular Event
Jupiter will accompany this weekend's Hunter's Moon as the duo parade across the night sky together. The Hunter's Moon gets its name from the Algonquin Native American tribe and was used to remind native American cultures that it was time to hunt and store up meat for the winter.
The October Hunter's Moon might also be called the Falling Leaves Moon, the Drying Rice Moon, or the Freezing or Ice Moon, with the name Migrating or Travel Moon indicating it is time for birds and animals to make their southern migration. This year's Hunter's Moon will have a special guest in the cool night sky as Jupiter will shine brightly alongside it.
The name Hunter's Moon can be found as far back as 1710 in the Oxford English Dictionary. It has many different meanings around the world. According to NASA, for Buddhists, this Moon marks the end of Vassa, the three months of fasting for monks tied to the monsoons. In Laos, the full moon corresponds with Boun Suang Huea, or the Boat Racing Festival.
The Hunter's Moon will appear on the night of October 28, 2023. It will rise next to Jupiter shortly after sunset. There will also be a partial lunar eclipse for those in Europe, Africa, and most of Asia and western Australia. A few states in the US will be able to catch the penumbral stage of the partial lunar eclipse including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Michigan, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. It's not expected to be as orange-tinted as some of the past ones, but could still end up with a tinge of color for spooky viewing.
Jupiter should be easy to spot with the unaided eye as it will outshine most other stars in the night sky. It is extra bright as it is nearly at perigee, or its closest point to Earth, for 2023. If the weekend weather does not cooperate, Jupiter will continue to be visible after sunset above the eastern horizon through November.
So, if weather permits, head outdoors to try and catch a better view of the gas giant as it travels across the night sky alongside the Hunter's Moon this weekend. Skywatchers may even be able to see some of Jupiter's moons with the aid of a pair of binoculars or telescope, as they appear as tiny points of light along an invisible tilted line.