Get ready for an amazing sight in the sky on Wednesday and Thursday night as the full Harvest Moon is all set to mesmerize the sky watchers.
The Harvest Moon is the name given to the full moon that rises closest to the autumnal equinox. Notably, the equinox i.e. the official start of autumn is from September 22 this year.
Many wonder that why this full moon is referred as a harvest moon. NASA’s Dr Tony Phillips explains, “In the days before electric lights, farmers depended on bright moonlight to extend the workday beyond sunset. It was the only way they could gather their ripening crops in time for market. The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox became the Harvest Moon, and it was always a welcome sight.”
In the United States the Harvest Moon will peak at 7:13 AM on the East Coast. But the Harvest Moon will be shining all night on Wednesday, September 18.
The special thing about Harvest Moon is that during this time moon gets a jump on the calendar by rising only 30 minutes later. Normally, the moon rises on average 50 minutes later everyday as the year moves on. This slightly earlier rise is what offered more light to busy farmers.
The size of the moon in the sky is dependent on its orbit. When the moon is particularly close to Earth, a full moon will appear noticeably larger in the sky. This is what is known as a super moon. The most recent super moon was in last June.