Full Moon in October 2021: Hunter’s Moon

~3 min

The Full Hunter’s Moon will occur on October 20, 2021. From this article, you’ll learn the best times to see this Full Moon, why it is called the Hunter’s Moon, and what makes it unique.

When to see the October Full Moon in 2021?

The exact moment of the Full Moon is October 20, 14:56 GMT (10:56 a.m. EDT). As always, we advise you to view the Moon for several nights in a row since it will be full-looking from around October 18 to 21. And remember that our natural satellite will rise around sunset, reaching its highest point at midnight.

If you want to spot the Full Moon appearing bigger and orange in color, look for it shortly after sunset when it lies low in the sky. The Moon will have an orange hue because of the Earth’s atmosphere — it gets thicker at the horizon, scattering blue light, but letting red light through. The bigger-than-usual Moon near the horizon is caused by the Moon illusion.

When is the next Full Moon?

The next Full Moon will take place on November 19, 2021. It’s known as the Beaver Moon — we’ll explain what it has to do with the large rodents closer to the date.

What is a Full Hunter’s Moon?

The Hunter’s Moon and the Harvest Moon are tied to an astronomical event — the autumn equinox. Both of these Full Moons occur around the event’s date: the Harvest Moon always takes place first, as the closest to the autumn equinox Full Moon, and then comes the Hunter’s Moon.

Therefore, the Hunter’s Moon is the first Full Moon to follow the Harvest Moon. It can occur in October or November in the Northern Hemisphere and in April-May south to the equator.

As for the Full Moon's name, it is believed that the Hunter’s Moon marks the perfect time for hunting. Animals start to gain weight before the cold times and come out to find crop residues on recently cleaned fields, where they can be easily seen by hunters.

October Full Moon alternative names

The Hunter’s Moon is only one of many names for the Full Moon in October. Among other cultures, it’s known under different designations.

  • Chinese: Kindly Moon
  • American Indian (Choctaw): Blackberry Moon
  • English Medieval: Blood Moon
  • South African: Seed Moon
  • Southern Hemisphere: Egg Moon, Fish Moon, Pink Moon, Waking Moon

You might also hear people calling it the Halloween Full Moon — obviously because it occurs close to the spooky holiday. By the way, in 2020, the October Full Moon occurred on October 31 and turned out to be the Blue Moon!

What makes a Hunter’s Moon special?

While the Full Moon rises about 50 minutes later each day, the Harvest and Hunter’s Full Moon appear to rise at almost the same time on several nights in a row. The thing is that around the date of the autumn equinox, the angle between the Moon’s orbit and the Earth’s horizon is minimal; thus, the Moon rises much faster above the horizon than usual.

Those from the Northern Hemisphere who ignored this curious effect in September can use October as the second chance. Enjoy the more extended period of moonlight this month; otherwise, you’ll have to wait another year for the next autumn equinox. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you won’t witness the effect until April.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this article! If so, share it on social media. Also, let us know if we should make an article or infographic with all the Full Moons of 2022 at the end of this year.

Wishing you clear skies and happy observations!