Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Look carefully at October's blood moon to see the red prenumbral eclipse!

Our moon will be full this month on Friday 18th October 2013. We have another special moon as it is a prenumbral lunar eclipse. The prenumbral eclipse means that the Full Moon will pass through the outer rim of the Earth’s shadow. This is obviously not as spectacular as a full lunar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon enters the dark inner core, or umbra, of the Earth’s shadow, but special just the same! If you look carefully you may just be able to notice a slight dusky shading on the lower southern side of the Moon around the time of 23:51 Universal Time/ 7:51 PM Eastern Daylight Saving Time. The prenumbaral eclipse will last for  3 hours and 59 minutes in and 76.5% of the disk of the Moon will be immersed in the penumbra at maximum eclipse. 

Path of the prenumbral eclipse on October 18th

Prenumbral eclipses are quite hard to see as you can only see an apparent dimming of the brightness of the full moon, they account for about 35% of all eclipses. The light penumbral shadow on the moon is a beautiful sight to behold, for those with the opportunity and patience to look for it. You may see a reddish tone to the surface of the moon. The red tint is due to the fact that as the Sun’s light is filtered through the Earth’s atmosphere much of the “blue light” is eliminated, leaving only the reddish hues. In the case of the October prenumbral eclipse a relatively small fraction of the Moon's disk enters the penumbral, and no part of its surface sees an especially deep eclipse of the Sun's light reaching it.

"The exact colour that the moon appears depends on the amount of dust and clouds in the atmosphere," according to NASA scientists. "If there are extra particles in the atmosphere, from say a recent volcanic eruption, the moon will appear a darker shade of red." http://www.space.com
I am certainly going to try and see if I can notice it. Do let me know how your viewing goes wherever you are. It really will be a blood moon this October if we see a fabulous reddish glow to our moon!

We have been blessed with three lunar eclipses this year and we are still due a solar eclipse in November!

Picture of a prenumbral eclipse last November www.earthsky.org

“This eclipse is the 3rd and final lunar eclipse of 2013, and the 5th overall. It’s also the first in a series of four descending node eclipses, including the total lunar eclipse of October 8th next year.   It’s also the 52nd eclipse of 72 in the lunar saros series 117, which started on April 3rd, 1094 and will end with a final lunar eclipse on May 15th, 2356. Saros 117 produced its last total lunar eclipse in 1815 and its final partial in 1941…. And this sets us up for the second eclipse of the season the next time the Moon crosses an ecliptic node, a hybrid (annular-total) solar eclipse spanning the Atlantic and Africa on November 3rd

Eclipses have throughout time been seen as special and often deeply spiritual occurrences. Luckily today we know why they occur whereas to some of our ancestors they were seen as amazing and sometimes frightening events. Often their appearance was attributed to the Gods or Goddesses that were celebrated at the time.

Christopher Columbus used this event to his advantage and frightened Jamaican natives in 1504 into feeding him and his crew because there was a blood red eclipse at the time. Columbus told the local leader that the Moon would rise “inflamed with wrath,” Columbus then made a great show of pretending to pray for intersession from heaven, after which the Moon returned to its rightful colour!

October’s full moon is often referred to as the hunter’s moon. October was traditionally a very good time for hunting meat to store during the cold days ahead. The last of the harvest had been gathered so our hunter-gatherer ancestors could turn their full attention to hunting. With all the crops cut down and the laves falling from the trees, hunting was much easier at this time of year as the prey had less places to hide.

Like the September full moon the hunter’s moon is a particularly bright one and lingers in the sky for longer. When a full moon occurs close to the autumnal equinox, the moon rises only about 30 minutes later daily for several days before and after the full Harvest moon. This is because the elliptic, or orbital path, makes a narrow angle with the evening horizon around the time of the autumn equinox. The narrow angle of the ecliptic results in a shorter than normal rising time between sunset and moonrise. This meant that there was a longer time for the hunter’s to make the most of the brightness and catch the food that would be needed.

The Blood Moon may take it’s name from hunting or harvest sacrifices. In fact, October or Octem, was the eighth month in the oldest Roman calendar. It marked the of the custom of killing and salting down livestock before the winter months made it impossible to feed all of them. Only the best stock was saved for next year and for breeding thus there would have been a lot of killing at this time on the full moon calendar.
This Moon has also been known as the Blood Moon, Sanguine Moon, Travel Moon, Dying Grass Moon, Moon of Falling Leaves, Moon When the Water Freezes, Blood Moon, Leaf Fall Moon, Basket Moon, Big Wind Moon, Blood Moon, Shedding Moon, Winterfelleth (Winter Coming), Windermanoth (Vintage Month), Ten Colds Moon and the Moon of the Changing Seasons.

The Cherokee name for the October full Moon was Dunin(i)di. This is the time of the “Harvest Festival” Nowatequa. The tribes give thanks to all the living things of the fields and earth that helped them live, and to the “Apportioner”  Unethlana. Cheno i-equa or “Great New Moon” Festival is customarily held at this time. Ritual fasting would be observed seven days prior to the festival and then a feast would take place with friends and family to celebrate this full moon.
Other names for the October full moon concentrate on events happening in the natural world at this time. Thus we see names such as leaf fall moon as the trees lose their leaves, and Moon when the water freezes as this is often the first moon in the year that sees temperatures drop below freezing.

This is the full moon calendar for October 2013. The next full moon will be:
Saturday * 19th October 2013 * 01:37:42 am
Central European Summer Time (CEST)
Moon sign: Aries 25° 45'

In other time zones:
WELLINGTON = Saturday * 19th Oct 2013 * 12:37:42 pm (NZDT)
SYDNEY = Saturday * 19th October 2013 * 10:37:42 am (AEDT)
TOKYO = Saturday * 19th October 2013 * 08:37:42 am (JST)
BEIJING = Saturday * 19th October 2013 * 07:37:42 am (CST)
BANGKOK = Saturday * 19th October 2013 * 06:37:42 am (ICT)
DELHI = Saturday * 19th October 2013 * 05:07:42 am (IST)
MOSCOW = Saturday * 19th October 2013 * 03:37:42 am (MSK)
RIYADH = Saturday * 19th October 2013 * 02:37:42 am (AST)
BERLIN = Saturday * 19th October 2013 * 01:37:42 am (CEST)
LONDON = Saturday * 19th October 2013 * 12:37:42 am (BST)
RIO = Friday * 18th October 2013 * 08:37:42 pm (BRT)
NEW YORK = Friday * 18th October 2013 * 07:37:42 pm (EDT)
MEXICO CITY = Friday * 18th October 2013 * 06:37:42 pm (CDT)
LOS ANGELES = Friday * 18th October 2013 * 04:37:42 pm (PDT)
HONOLULU = Friday * 18th October 2013 * 01:37:42 pm (HAST)


  1. Wow, thanks for all the amazing information Alison! Many blessings my friend ;o)

  2. thanks Stacey, full moon blessings to you hun xx