Share

PHOTOS: Moon Watchers Observe Rare Hunter's Moon and Lunar Eclipse

By: Liz Burlingame
Published: October 19, 2013

The full moon dipped into Earth's outer shadow Oct. 18, producing a shallow lunar eclipse that could be seen by keen sky-watchers across the globe.

October's full moon, traditionally known as the Hunter's Moon, lost just a bit of silvery luster last night as part of its southern limb gradually dimmed. The celestial phenomenon occurs when the moon passes only through the Earth's faint outer shadow, called the penumbra.

While the eclipse, the last of 2013, was very subtle, the moon itself was striking. It reached 100 percent fullness at around 7:40 p.m. EDT.

The name Hunter's Moon reputedly comes from those who used the light to their advantage, according to Science@NASA. “Hunters tracked and killed their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter ahead,” writes NASA’s Tony Phillips. “You can picture them: Silent figures padding through the forest, the moon overhead, pale as a corpse, its cold light betraying the creatures of the wood.”

This weekend is also prime time for the Orionid meteor shower, which flares up every October when Earth passes through the stream of cosmic grit left behind by Halley's Comet. The best views are expected between midnight and dawn on Sunday and Monday.

Featured Blogs

More Water For California: New Enormous Water Works Programs Are Expensive

By Dr. Jeff Masters
April 18, 2014

From November 2013 - January 2014, a remarkably extreme jet stream pattern set up over North America, bringing the infamous "Polar Vortex" of cold air to the Midwest and Eastern U.S., and a "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge" of high pressure over California, which brought the worst winter drought conditions ever recorded to that state. A new study by Utah State scientist S.-Y. Simon Wang found that this jet stream pattern was the most extreme on record, and likely could not have grown so extreme without the influence of human-caused global warming.

A Warm Winter in Alaska

By Christopher C. Burt
April 18, 2014

In contrast to much of the contiguous U.S., the National Weather Service (NWS) in Alaska noted in a post this week that Alaska has enjoyed its third warmest ‘winter’ on record for 2013-2014. The period of time they are calling ‘winter’ is for the six months of October 2013 through 2014. Here are a few details.

I am a Failed Father

By Shaun Tanner
April 17, 2014

Being a father is very hard! I know, I sound like a whiner, but I felt especially bad this week when I caused my daughter to miss the lunar eclipse.

Polar Vortex, Global Warming, and Cold Weather

By Stu Ostro
January 10, 2014

Some thoughts about the recent viral meme(s).

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.

Astronomical VS. Meteorological Winter

By Tom Niziol
March 1, 2013