an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Shine On Harvest Moon

photo of full moon

Harvest Moon

We had one heck of a storm late in the afternoon and I thought we’d be overcast and misty overnight, but the clouds rolled away and the atmospheric mist cleared up too and I got a photo of this famous harvest moon, the first to coincide with the Autumnal Equinox in 20 years.

The Harvest Moon doesn’t always occur in a certain month like other full moons, but is the full moon nearest the Autumnal Equinox, whether before or after, even in October, called such because the extra light was welcome during harvest time in typically dry autumn conditions, perfect for harvesting fields of grain. In addition to the extra light, the moon also rises at nearly the same time every night. The moon usually rises about 50 minutes later each night, but because of the physics of the moon, sun and earth the moon rises are only about 20 minutes apart, always in the early evening so the extra light to harvest by is right after sunset and farmers could just keep working until the moon went below the horizon.

Read an article in today’s Farmer’s Almanac and National Geographic for more information on the Harvest Moon and why the coincidence of full moon and equinox is so unusual.


6 responses

  1. I always feel a sense of awe during the cycles. Great close up!

    September 24, 2010 at 2:13 am

    • Thanks for visiting. Yes, it’s truly amazing to see the moon right there in your lens.

      September 24, 2010 at 2:30 am

  2. What a beautiful picture! Unfortunately, it’s cloudy here in Seattle so no moon for us. I was so happy to see your post. I grew up in Pittsburgh and enjoy reading your blog. Keep writing!

    September 23, 2010 at 12:51 am

    • Wow, it’s nice to know I’ve reached you! You’ll be seeing a lot of autumn in Western Pennsylvania soon! Kind of predictable, but I never grow tired of it.

      September 23, 2010 at 8:53 am

  3. This picture is unforgettable.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:01 am

    • Thanks, Jesse–seeing the full moon in closeup is unforgettable too.

      September 23, 2010 at 8:53 am

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