Saturday, September 25, 2010

Harvest Moon Fall

This year, the first time since 1991, the full moon that's called the Harvest Moon rose on the same day as the summer ended and autumn began with the autumnal equinox on Wednesday night, nearly at midnight.

I didn't know the origin of the name "harvest moon" until I heard on the radio program "Stardate" that it is the full moon closest to the September equinox. I saw it myself when it was at its fullest, walking the dog in the early morning hours as it reached the western horizon, ready to set. 

I learned that it's called the harvest moon, because farmers used its bright celestial light to extend the day for harvesting in the fields.

This year, the bright star right next to it is Jupiter. It's the closest Jupiter has been to the moon since 1963.

If my memory is right, the Harvest Moon won't come this close to the actual day of the equinox again until 2029. Since the moon's cycle is less than 30 days, it comes on different days during the season. Sometimes the Harvest Moon is as late as October.

Did you notice the beautiful, very round, enormous moon in the sky? At midnight it was so bright it actually cast shadows.

Check out this National Geographic link if you would like to know more about this beautiful, seasonal event.


SummersStudio said...

That's so interesting. It's funny how we use terms like 'harvest moon' without knowing much about there origin. The brightness of that moon certainly caught my attention this year. It was beautiful.

Trish said...

Thanks Lynn! I love that kind of stuff. Now I'm going to have the song Harvest Moon stuck in my head all day! What a great pic too - did you take it?

Joann Loos said...

We were out last night with the binoculars. Could see all four moons of Jupiter. Quite impressive!

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Shine on, Shine on, Harvest Moon, for me and my gal! Yes, it's an oldie and a goodie.

I like to listen the the "Stardate" radio program, it's always interesting.

No, that's a photo from National Geographic - I wasn't looking for birds that night, I was walking the dog when I saw the moon setting.

I did hear that with just a little help you could see the moons of Jupiter, that's cool!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for researching/sharing all this. I knew this was a special moon...and named it so in a new song. It's been a very creative moon as well. Love your work. ;)