CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC / Gray News) – If you love astronomy, you'll make sure you enjoy the full Hunter's Moon, which will be visible as early as Sunday.
That's the name given to the first full moon after Harvest Moon, which is the last full month before the fall equinox, said Matthew Whitehouse, manager of the South Carolina State Museum, South Carolina.
The moon will appear orange when it is near the horizon, a phenomenon that happens because we see the moon through a haze of atmosphere, Whitehouse said. As the moon rises above the horizon, the orange color will fade and become more white.
The moon may also initially appear on the horizon, he said, because of the optical illusion known as the "moon illusion."
"It's a trick of the eye," he said, adding that as the moon goes out, it will appear at its normal size.
Whitehouse says you should look at the moon if you look east, but you'll want to make sure your view is not obstructed by trees or buildings.
"The beaches will be a very cool place to look," he said. "That should be very photogenic."
Hunter & # 39; s Moon was culturally significant to the Indians, who used it as a signal for the hunting season at a time of year when fields were harvested and deer grew. Since Hunter & # 39; s Moon appeared in the sky before sunset and ended up increasing the amount of light, it has also been used as a signal to Native American hunters to head home.
The Algonquin and Iroquois Indians also called Hunting Month the Traveling Moon or the Moon of the Dying Grass, Whitehouse said.
Cultural astronomy, a study of how beliefs about the sky, stars, planets and moon affect society, shows that festivals on the other side of the world in India took place when Hunting Month indicated the time when the monsoon rains ended, he said.
The Oxford Dictionary cites the first known use of the term "Hunting Month" in 1710.
NASA says the moon will be visible and appear "opposite" to the sun, and will appear full by Tuesday.
Harvest Moon this year occurred last month on Friday, October 13, the first time Harvest Moon appeared on that date since October 2000. The next time Harvest Moon appears on that famous "unlucky" day will be in August 2049.
Copyright 2019 WCSC through Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.