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Shine On Harvest Moon

photo of full moon
photo of full moon

Harvest Moon

Unlike other moons through the year, the Harvest Moon doesn’t always occur in a certain month 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.

This moon is from 2010—we are a little overcast near the horizon this evening but three years ago we were clear from edge to edge and I got the best moon photo I’ve ever gotten.


Shine On, Harvest Moon, 2011

harvest moon

Harvest Moon

I finally caught some color in the sky and a yellow moon. The Harvest Moon always looks extra golden, round and fat as if it, too, is ready for harvest.

Last year on this day we had a full moon on this day, but in 2012, the September full moon doesn’t fall until September 29.

September’s full moon is called the Full Corn Moon for the time of harvesting corn, and also the Full Barley Moon for the harvest and threshing of barley, and the Fruit Moon for the ripening of fruit in both hemispheres, autumn fruits in the northern hemisphere, and spring fruits in the southern hemisphere. While each month’s moon keeps its particular name, the Harvest Moon is an additional name for the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox. What characterizes this moon as the Harvest is that, unlike other times of the year, the moon rises an average of 30 minutes later each day rather than the usual 50 minutes. That gives this string of days, about two weeks, more light in the evening as the full moon approaches, arrives and departs, so work days for harvesting can be longer.

Read about the Corn Moon and the Harvest Moon on the Farmer’s Almanac.

 


Shine On, Harvest Moon

harvest moon

Harvest Moon

I finally caught some color in the sky and a yellow moon. The Harvest Moon always looks extra golden, round and fat as if it, too, is ready for harvest.


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.