Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Harvest Moon This Week

Summer is almost over and the Harvest Moon is looming large in the evening sky right now.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Harvest Moon
The Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox, the day on which summer ends and fall begins. This year’s equinox occurs on Friday, September 23.

The full moon happened last Sunday— but the moon is still big enough the next few days to provide a good look.

Many folks observing the Harvest Moon believe it seems bigger, brighter or more colorful than other full moons. In reality the moon’s large size is just a trick of the eye called a “moon illusion”, caused by the brain perceiving a low-hanging moon as larger than one that’s higher in the sky. Read the entire article.

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1 comment:

Donna L. Watkins said...

A friend of mine who has been fascinated with astronomy emailed me with this comment about the timing of the moon rising:

Time of moon rising. I was a bit bothered about the comment " The Harvest Moon is special because the time difference between moonrise on successive evenings is shorter than usual around the time of the equinox, with the full moon being about 30 minutes later each day versus approximately 50 minutes later most of the year".

I guess I had not really appreciated that. So of course I looked it up. The actual timing of the moon rising is ALL OVER THE PLACE!! Just in August it ranged from 27 minutes to 70 minutes between risings. It again is a very complicated story but a nice version is available at this site, - see the paragraph "About the moon calculator"

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/moonrise.html

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