2022, October 31:  NO Halloween Full Moon, Darkness Exceeds Daylight

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October 31, 2022: Halloween has no FULL moon this year.  The moon is nearly at the First Quarter phase.  Today, Darkness exceeds daylight.

Photo Caption – Classic Halloween imagery includes a Full moon. (Credit: Public Domain Pictures dot net)

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by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Halloween Moon Phase

Traditional Halloween imagery includes scary houses, cats, bats, spiders and their webs, ghosts, goblins, witches, and a Full moon.  This year’s Halloween moon is approaching First Quarter, not Full!

A Full moon does not occur every Halloween.  The last Halloween Full moon was in 2020 and the next occurs in 2039. The next Full moon this year is November 8th.

Photo Caption – Lunar Eclipse, May 15, 2022.

The moon returns to the same phase on the same date every 19 years.  This cycle was first identified about 2,500 years ago to predict lunar eclipses.  The lunar eclipse that is predicted for the next Full moon (November 8th) occurs again in 2041 – although that eclipse is partial – one metonic cycle later.

Chart Caption – 2022, October 31: The moon is in the southern sky after sunset with Capricornus.

Step outside one hour after sunset to see the nearly-half-full moon less than a third of the way up in the south.  The lunar orb is nearly 15° to the lower right of Saturn.

The Ringed Wonder is slowly moving eastward against eastern Capricornus. Deneb Algedi – meaning “the kid’s tail” – is to the left of Saturn.  The Kid, Algedi, is to the upper right of Saturn and the moon.

Chart Caption – 2003, October 31: The moon was in the southern sky after sunset with Capricornus.

Nineteen years ago, the moon was at the same phase and nearly in the same place in the sky compared to Capricornus.  Saturn was not nearby, but Mars was in the southeast, over 30° to the upper left of the moon and outside the frame of the accompanying chart.

So, there you go!  There might be scary houses, cats, bats, spiders and their webs, ghosts, goblins, and witches on your Halloween; there is no Full moon.

Daylight Exceeds Darkness

Photo Caption – 2022, March 16: Sunrise Approaches

Today, darkness, 10 hours, 28 minutes long, exceeds the length of daylight for the next 103 days at Chicago’s latitude.

For clarity, darkness is not nighttime.  Rather, nighttime can be divided into twilight and darkness.  First, daytime is obvious, when the sun is above the horizon, brightly illuminating the ground whether in a cloudless sky, thunderstorm, or blizzard.

Further, this is not a description of the equinox when day and night are approximately equal, occurring each March and September.

Night occurs when the sun is below the horizon, but there is a period of time when it illuminates the atmosphere, sometimes producing prismatic colors.  This occurs for a period of time until the sky is completely dark as it gets naturally – darkness.  The reverse occurs in the morning as the sun approaches the horizon and creates daytime again.  A twenty-four-hour cycle includes daytime, evening twilight, darkness, and morning twilight to sunrise, repeating the cycle each day.

Photo Caption – 2019, November 25: Watching evening planets

With the return to standard time on the morning of November 6th, the appeal for year-round daylight time will likely hit the news cycle again.  At Chicago’s latitude, there is no daylight “to save,” from November through early February.  Whether a person has a traditional job that requires a commute or for a new economy at home worker, there’s little daylight to spread across the entire day for seemingly routine activities and anything special that could occur in any extra daylight.

For more southerly latitudes, such as in Florida, there’s ample sunshine throughout the year.  Miami only experiences longer darkness for 40 days.  On the winter solstice, the daylight lasts 10 hours, 32 minutes, while in Chicago daytime is 9 hours, 10 minutes.  For more northerly locations, the darkness lasts longer for more days, and these communities experience long periods of twilight during the summer months – no daylight to save during the winter and extended daylight and twilight during the warmer months.

Standard time throughout the year is a better choice.

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