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The Hunter’s Moon will rise over the U.S. on Sunday — but what exactly is it?

It’s been almost a month since the Harvest Moon mystified sky-gazers with a rare Friday the 13th appearance, but there’s another full moon on the horizon and it has a name all its own: the Hunter’s Moon.

The Hunter’s Moon, also known as the Full Hunter’s Moon, will rise over the United States on Sunday, NASA says, and it shares a number of similarities with its predecessor.

What is the Hunter’s Moon?

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Hunter’s Moon is the first full moon following the Harvest Moon.

The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the first day of fall, which means the Hunter’s Moon falls only on dates in either October or November.

Where did the moon get its name?

The term “Hunter’s Moon” dates back to 1710 and is believed to have indicated the best time for hunters to begin preparations for the winter, hunting animals that had “come out to glean,” according to the Almanac.

Similar to the Harvest Moon, hunters would hunt by the light of the Hunter’s Moon which appeared larger and brighter in the sky, rising 30 minutes later each night as opposed to the typical 50 minutes, Universe Today reported. This meant more time for hunters and farmers to do their work in the evenings.

The Hunter’s Moon has been known by several different names by people throughout the world, including the Dying Grass Moon, the Travel Moon and the Blood Moon.

When can you see it?

The Hunter’s Moon will become full at 5:17 p.m. EDT on Sunday, NASA reported, and will appear full for three days, Saturday to Tuesday.

It may appear larger and more orange than typical moons thanks to “moon illusion,” an effect in which the moon’s relation to the horizon causes it to seem bigger than when it’s higher in the sky, according to the Alamanac.

Other full moons

It turns out the autumnal full moons aren’t the only moons that get names. Each of the year’s 12 — sometimes 13 — moons has its own moniker.

This year, sky gazers in November will see the Beaver Moon followed by the Cold Moon in December, according to Space.com. The first full moon of the new year will be the Wolf Moon, with the Snow Moon rising in February.

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.
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