We will see two full Moons in one month

By Francis Parnell

For October, we can look forward to two full Moons.
With the first full Moon occurring on the 1st, the second full Moon will fall on the 31st, making it a Blue Moon. Two full Moons in a month aren’t all that rare, but it’s the reason we have the phrase “once in a Blue Moon.”
The full Moon of October is normally called the Hunter’s Moon, but since it’s actually closer to the Equinox than the one in September, according to Sky & Telescope magazine, it holds the title of Harvest Moon for 2020.
Before dawn on the mornings of the 2nd and 3rd, brilliant Venus and Regulus, the brightest star in Leo, the Lion, form a pair less than 1/2-degree apart. Nice sight in binoculars!
Mars is at opposition, 38,111,880 miles from Earth on the 13th, but because of its elliptical orbit, its closest approach is on the 6th. If you have a telescope of at least 4-inch aperture or larger, and a good chart of Mars, you can see some details on the surface.
Look south – southwest at dusk on the 22nd to find a waxing lunar crescent forming a compact triangle with Jupiter and Saturn.
At dusk on the 29th, the Moon is less than 5 degrees below red Mars.
Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, is at opposition on the 31st at 1,747,569,172 miles away. If you have a small telescope and a good star chart, you can spot the small blue-green disc among the background stars.
The second full Moon of the month, the “Blue Moon,” rises Oct. 31 — Halloween Night! A celestial “treat” for everyone!
Enjoy Autumn, stay safe, and “Keep looking up!”

Author: Stephan Drew

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