The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the September equinox. In 2008, this equinox takes place on September 22. The closest full moon is on the night of September 14-15. The precise moment of full moon will come in the early morning hours on September 15 according to clocks in London. So, to astronomers, the September 15 full moon is the Harvest Moon.
What’s so special about a Harvest Moon? In autumn, the ecliptic – or path of the sun, moon, and planets – makes a narrow angle with the horizon. Every full moon rises around the time of sunset, and – on average – each successive moonrise comes about 50 minutes after the one the day before. But, in the autumn, the narrow angle of the ecliptic to the horizon in the evening causes a shorter time between successive moonrises. So, instead of rising 50 minutes after sunset the day after full moon, the moon might rise only 30 minutes, or less, after sunset.
That fact doesn’t seem earthshaking to us. But it was important to people in earlier times. For farmers bringing in the harvest, before the days of tractor lights, it meant there was no long period of darkness between sunset and moonrise for several days after full moon. And that meant farmers could work on in the fields, bringing in the crops by moonlight. Hence the name Harvest Moon.
(I condensed the article)
Written by Deborah Byrd , 14 September 08
Here is the view of the Harvest Moon in my backyard.
I should have got outside just as the sun was setting to take a picture of the moon. I'm sure I would have gotten the orange glow. Oh well. What do you expect from a Full Moon!!
Have a Great Evening Everyone!Pin It