Astronomical events get the world talking like nothing else, except maybe the Kardashians’ tri-pregnancy. They remind us that we are all minuscule parts of a massive universe and there’s so much we’ve yet to discover about our galaxy. I mean, how many of you drove a few hours away just so you could view last month’s solar eclipse for a few minutes?
On October 5, another phenomenon will be happening: the Harvest Moon. In technical terms, the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, which just passed on September 22. Depending on the year, we see the Harvest Moon either two weeks prior or two weeks after the autumn equinox. This year, the Harvest Moon comes two weeks after.
The event symbolizes the changing seasons in the Northern Hemisphere, when farmers prepare for the coming winter months by gathering food. They would use the extra light from the Harvest Moon to complete their work.
So, what exactly happens? The moon will begin ascending in the east pretty quickly after sunset. The Harvest Moon appears an orange shade and it’s due to the location near the horizon. As we look at the sky, the atmosphere lets red light pass through our eyes. When the moon is situated near the horizon, we see it with an orange tint.
If you want to catch the Harvest Moon, it will rise on October 5 at 6:51 P.M. EDT, and set the following morning at 7:40 A.M. Names for the full moons originally came from Native Americans, as they kept record of the transitioning seasons. October’s full moon is typically referred to as “Hunter’s Moon,” but this year it’s a Harvest Moon since the full moon is closer to the equinox.
Will you be checking out the Harvest Moon?
Keep the shades at home for next month’s Harvest Moon, stay warm, and happy viewing!