Halloween is always a spooky and thrilling time, with all sorts of events and outdoor activities unfolding under the night sky. This year's celebration will be even more special, because a blue moon will illuminate the sky on the evening of October 31.
According to EarthSky, the 12 months of the year have lengths that are more or less based on a single orbit of the moon around Earth. A full moon occurs every 29 days when the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth to the sun, meaning that its face is fully illuminated. Every month has a full moon, but because the lunar cycle and the calendar year aren't perfectly synched, we get a second full moon in a month, known as a blue moon, every two and a half years on average.
Sadly the moon won't actually be blue in color, but as it is falling on October 31, it is likely that the night sky will be colored by the hues of fireworks and spooky lighting. What makes it extra special is that while the last blue moon occurred in March 2018, this is the first time it is taking place on Halloween in all time zones since 1944.
We have enjoyed some amazing lunar events in recent years, including a black supermoon, a super snow moon, a full cold moon kiss and a super blood wolf eclipse. And maybe the fact that the blue moon is happening on Halloween will add an extra thrilling – or chilling – dimension to the occasion. At the very least, it's a nice little distraction.
This article was first published on September 22, 2020 and updated on October 28, 2020.