The closest full moon to the fall equinox will grace the sky on Thursday evening (Oct. 5), and here’s why the October Harvest Moon (the first in almost a decade) is so special…
We’re so excited! The full moon rising on Thursday night — Oct. 5 — marks the closest full moon to the fall equinox, and it’s kind of a big deal. Here’s why:
1. For starters, this will be the first time a full moon bearing this nickname (“Harvest Moon”) has fallen in October since 2009! Isn’t that just crazy? We’ll wait while you catch your breath. The moon is going to reach its full phase at 2:40 p.m. ET today, which means the Harvest Moon will be in full effect when it shows its glorious face at 7:21 p.m. ET.
2. But even though we haven’t seen a Harvest Moon in October since 2009, it doesn’t mean it’s super rare. Ernie Wright, a specialist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Scientific Visualization Studio in Maryland, told The National Geographic, “The previous one was in 2009, but the one before that was 2006, and the next one will be in 2020.” The chances of an October harvest moon happening is roughly one in four — so not all that rare. But still, it’s pretty special to witness.
3. When it comes to October full moons, they rise almost as soon as the sun sets, which means they first appear as a “plump, orange-colored orb right around dusk,” according to The National Geographic. “With little darkness between sunset and moonrise, farmers can work later into the night harvesting crops—the likely origin of this full moon’s name.”
4. The Harvest Moon is sometimes also known as the “Blood Moon.” Seems appropriate for a full moon that falls near Halloween, right? Obviously it has more to do with its color, but it still sounds spooky!
5. If you’re hoping to see the Harvest Moon tonight, National Geographic says, “You can see the full moon throughout the Northern Hemisphere.” And according to the National Weather Service. “the sky is predicted to remain clear on the East Coast and in the west, but mid-west and southern tip of Florida will see lots of clouds.”
— NASA Moon (@NASAMoon) October 5, 2017
HollywoodLifers, are YOU excited for the Harvest Moon? Will you be watching it this year? Tell us below!