This year’s Halloween was different not just because of the pandemic but also because of the moon. The rare second-in-the-month full moon made for a glorious sky watching this year. The full moon that was visible on October 31 is called the blue moon because it's the second full moon of the same month, after the harvest moon of October 1. What made the Halloween full moon even more rare was that it was visible to the entire world for the first time since World War II.
For people in Britain, the spectacular sight was the first Halloween Blue Moon in 40 years. The last Halloween full moon visible around the globe came in 1944. Halloween full moon was visible at some locations in 1955 except western North America and the western Pacific. This year residents across both North America and South America were able to see the spectacular sight as well as Africa, all of Europe and much of Asia. However, parts of central and eastern Australia could not see the sight.
The Halloween full moon was visible in the United Kingdom back in 2001, and before that in 1955.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also tweeted about the occasion and said Halloween falls on a full Moon only once every 19 years, on average.
🌕 🎃 Tonight, there's a Blue Moon in the sky! A Blue Moon is a second full Moon in the same calendar month, and Halloween falls on a full Moon only once every 19 years, on average. More @NASAMoon facts: https://t.co/MsvtnKYK9j #NASAHalloween pic.twitter.com/XT0LqCW7VB— NASA (@NASA) October 31, 2020
Many people posted some spectacular shots of the bright full moon on Halloween. One user described the pictures as a “Perfect Halloween scene”.
An astro-photographer, Andrew McCarthy posted a 60 megapixel shot of the Blue Halloween moon on Twitter. For a perfect view of the moon, Andrew also shared some advice. To view the Blue moon, one should look for it rising in the East shortly after sunset. The moon will look larger on the horizon, and will be a spooky orange color depending on the air quality of respective regions.
Another Twitter user shared the images of the spooky moon on Halloween from Alabel, Sarangani Province of Philippines.
Once in a blue moon, I lift myself out of blues. Caught in the act! Blue Moon or Halloween Moon rising in Alabel, Sarangani Province at 17:39 🌕💙#BlueMoon #Halloween #Moonrise #Astrophotography pic.twitter.com/1KY1xb8amw— ☾ (@nagielyn_) October 31, 2020
Unlike the phrase ‘once in a blue moon’, astronomical Blue Moons have a frequent pattern and occur roughly once every two and a half years. According to NASA, the next Blue Moons will take place in August 2023, May 2026, and December 2028.