A full moon beaming in the dark night's sky is always a spectacle. Its lunar glow has always acted as a magnet for energy, pulling howls and charged journal entries out of us. And, of course, it pulls us straight out of bed in order to admire it in all of it's ~full~ glory. While all the year's moons are the same moon, each month's full moon seems unique in size and unearthly glow. So, how big is the Frost Moon? It might not be a supermoon like the Jun. 24 supermoon was, but that doesn't mean it's not worth the viewing.
Last month's full moon adopted an appropriate orange hue, dressing up like a Jack-O-Lantern in the early October sky. Its grandiose presence in the sky was such a performance of astronomical wonder that it literally stopped traffic. As I drove home, people had pulled over, mouths agape, frozen in awe at the sight of Earth's regular-old-moon dressed up as something fuller and more colorful. While the Frost Moon isn't considered "super" like the one in June, it's only a day early to be considered so — the moon is nearly close enough to the Earth to be considered a supermoon. Meaning, it still has the power to cause traffic jams from how pretty it is. You're guaranteed to be moonstruck so dress ~accordingly~ — ahem, turtleneck sweaters a la Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give — and scope your spot for prime viewing.
If you're wondering what's so super about a supermoon, it has to do with the distance between the earth and the moon as the full moon rises to take residency in the sky. And, just so you're informed, 'supermoon' is not an ~official~ astronomy term. The term we've all grown to love actually refers to "perigee," or when the moon is at its closet point to Earth, according to Inverse. And the Frost Moon is thiiisss close to perigee. If the moon rose a mere one day later, we would be struck with another Supermoon.
But alas the Frost Moon is rising on Friday, Nov. 3 and will be at it's peak viewing period between 10:23 p.m.and 1:23 a.m EST on Nov. 4. It will set at 7:40 a.m. EST on Saturday as the sun rises at 7:30 a.m. Even though it's not technically "super," it still will be brighter and appear larger than other non-supermoons. That's because it's showing so close to perigee, which is why it'll look like it's being reeled in a little closer to the earth's surface.
Additionally, as it's nearly a supermoon, the light from this November's full moon will illuminate the ground below us. So, while it might be harder to sleep, it could be a good idea to join an outdoor group on a full moon hike. Even if you forget your flashlight at home, that glowing orb in the sky will cast enough light on the path to guide you.
And as this moon lights up your walking path or bedroom, it also shines a light on the fact that, you guys, winter is really coming. The summer might have felt longer than usual, and maybe that means that fall will, well, fall short this year. The Frost Moon traditionally marks the looming frost of winter, hence its name, and is also known as the Beaver Moon. This refers to when the Algonquin tribe set out to gather furs for the impending snow of the winter. While you stock up on sweaters, it might also be a good idea to pull your puffer jackets down from storage. Especially if you're planning to view the moon (which you really should!) outdoors. Temperatures in New York are supposedly going to drop to the 40s as the sun tucks itself behind the moon for the evening. Check your local weather before heading out for peak viewing of the large-but-not-supermoon.