Full Hunter’s Moon, Orionid meteor shower to peak this week: Here’s how to view

U.S. & World

Meteors of the Orionid meteor shower streak as they cross through the milkyway in the mountainous area of Tannourine in northern Lebanon, on October 3, 2021. (Photo by Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP) (Photo by IBRAHIM CHALHOUB/AFP via Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – The first full moon of fall is set to peak this week, and it will also closely coincide with the second meteor shower of the month.

October’s full moon is called the “Hunter’s Moon.” It’s going to reach peak illumination at 9:57 a.m. Central Time Wednesday, Oct. 20, according to NASA. But even though its peak is during daylight, the moon will still appear full from Monday night through Thursday morning.

Why is it called the “Hunter’s Moon?” According to the Farmers Almanac, October’s full moon gets its nickname from the hunting season. Other names for October’s full moon include the “Blood Moon” and the “Sanguine Moon.”

Some say this full moon appears more orange in color. It also appears bigger than other full moons because of an optical illusion.

Another spectacle this month for astronomy lovers is the Orionid meteor shower, the second meteor shower of the month after the rare Draconids peaked a few weeks ago.

The Orionids, which usually produce about 20 meteors per hour, are set to reach their peak Wednesday night, Oct. 20, into early Thursday morning, Oct. 21.

But the meteor shower will have a bit of competition. The bright light of the full moon will likely make it difficult to see some of the dimmer shooting stars.

Still if you want to try to catch a glimpse, experts say the best time to search for meteors is during the second half of Wednesday night, specifically the hours before dawn Thursday.

Astronomers recommend focusing on darker areas of the sky and avoid looking at sources of light such as the moon or a cell phone. 

And if you miss the Orionids, don’t stress. There are three meteor showers to look forward to in November.

Nexstar’s WFLA contributed to this report.

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