Full Hunter’s Moon, Orionid meteor shower to peak this week: Here’s how to view

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The first full moon of fall is set to peak this week, and it will also closely coincide with the second meteor shower of the month.

October’s full moon is called the “Hunter’s Moon.” It’s going to reach peak illumination at 9:57 a.m. CT Wednesday, Oct. 20, according to NASA. But even though its peak is during the middle of the day, the moon will still be appear full from Monday night through Thursday morning.

If you’re wondering when you’ll get the best view of the full moon, watch the eastern horizon around sunset, as early as Tuesday night. Tuesday’s sunset in Kansas City is around 6:30 p.m. The moon will set in the western sky the next morning.

So why is it called the “Hunter’s Moon”? According to the Farmers Almanac, October’s full moon gets its nickname from the hunting season. Other names for October’s full moon include the “Blood Moon” and the “Sanguine Moon.”

Another spectacle this month for astronomy lovers is the Orionid meteor shower, the second meteor shower of the month after the rare Draconids peaked a few weeks ago.

The Orionids, which usually produce about 20 meteors per hour, are set to reach their peak Wednesday night, Oct. 20, into early Thursday morning, Oct. 21.

But the meteor shower will have a bit of competition. The bright light of the full moon will likely make it difficult to see some of the dimmer shooting stars.

Still if you want to try to catch a glimpse, the Kansas City area is expected to have fair conditions. Experts say the best time to search for meteors is during the second half of Wednesday night, specifically the hours before dawn Thursday.

Astronomers recommend focusing on darker areas of the sky and avoid looking at sources of light such as the moon or a cell phone. 

And if you miss the Orionids, don’t stress. There are three meteor showers to look forward to in November.

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