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The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, which, depending on the year and time zone, occurs around September 22. The equinox occurs twice a year (March and September), and is when day and night are roughly equal in length as the sun crosses the celestial equator.
Tonight, and into the early hours of Saturday, September 10, providing it is a clear sky, we will be able to look up and gaze upon the full moon in all its glory.
It will reach its peak illumination at 12.59am.
The origin of the Harvest Moon’s name is that it appears during the Northern Hemisphere’s harvest season.
The aforementioned autumnal equinox is the astronomical basis for its name.
Of all the Full Moon names, the Harvest Moon is probably the most well-known.
It has inspired films, a Nintendo Switch game, and songs, most notably Neil Young’s Billboard hit “Harvest Moon.”
The Harvest Moon will be followed by the Blood Moon on October 9. The full moon is the lunar phase when the moon appears fully illuminated from Earth’s perspective.
There are 12 full moons a year, occurring every 29.5 days – the length of time it takes for the moon to orbit the Earth and complete one lunar phase cycle.
Ancient cultures from around the globe named moons based on the behaviour of plants, animals or weather during that month.
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