strawberry moon

A great way to kick off fall? View the Hunter’s Moon (and more!) from your hot tub

October 11, 2019

strawberry moonOctober 11, 2019 – It’s certainly been crisp here in the Seattle area this week. Fall has definitely arrived. We’ve had some lovely bright sunny days as well, which means you may get a very good chance to view the Hunter’s Moon this weekend. Why not do it from your hot tub?

Because of the orange hue this moon will take on in the night sky, some also refer to is as a Blood Moon. Sanguine Moon, while a lesser used moniker, is another name used to reference October’s full moon. The orange hue the moon takes on during this particular cycle is one of the reasons for its Blood Moon term.

What causes the moon to look more orange over its normal bluish white appearance in the night sky? It’s largely due to the fact that during this cycle the moon is lower in the heavens and farther away than if it was directly overhead. The light reflected off a moon closer to the horizon travels further to reach the human eye. By the time we take it in, shorter light waves (blue) have dispersed. This leaves longer wavelengths (red) to reach our eyes, giving the moon its orange glow. Perfectly appropriate with the coming of Halloween!

Optimal viewing time for the moon will be the nights of October 13th and 14th, and right near sunset we in the Northwest should have a great show (barring any clouds or rain).

But wait! There’s more! If you look to the northern sky, you might begin to spot a meteor or two streaking across the horizon. Those would be thanks to an annual visit from the Orionid meteor shower. This meteor shower will build to its zenith around October 21st or 22nd, but you should be able to start identifying a few as you soak and look upward. Later in its run you’ll likely have a better chance of taking a few of them in, as the moonlight will be less of an obstacle for spying them.

For me, October is one of those ideal get-to-the-hot-tub-and-soak months. If you’ve been busier than usual, and the hot tub has taken a back seat to other activities, this weekend is the perfect time to reset and get yourself back into the hot tub routine. You’ll feel better, sleep better, get a chance to commune with nature, and take in a lovely night sky show to boot. What’s not to love?