Farmers Moon


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Moon Phases for Farmers Shop Corner, Virginia, USA in 12222

The last time was in and next time will be in On average, October Harvest Moons come at three-year intervals, although the time frame can be quite variable, and there can be situations where as much as eight years can elapse the next such example will come between and Many think that the Harvest Moon remains in the night sky longer than any of the other full moons we see during the year, but that is not so.

What sets this month's full moon apart from the others is that farmers at the climax of the current harvest season can work late into the night by the moon's light. So, for several days before and after the full moon, the moon hangs in the sky like a great, glowing lantern and prolongs the light far after sunset. It rises about the time the sun sets, but more importantly, at this time of year, instead of rising at its normal average of 50 minutes later each day, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night.

Full moon for different places on different nights

In actuality, over this three-night interval for our relatively small sampling, the rising of the moon comes, on average, less than 27 minutes later each night. A quick study of the table shows that the night-to-night difference is greatest for the more southerly locations Miami, located near 26 degrees north latitude, sees moonrise come an average of 33 minutes later. Meanwhile, the difference is less at more northerly locations at Edmonton, Alberta, located at The reason for this seasonal circumstance is that the moon appears to move along the ecliptic — the apparent path that the sun, moon and planets follow across the sky — and at this time of year when rising, the ecliptic makes its smallest angle with respect to the horizon for those living in the Northern Hemisphere.

In contrast, for those living in the Southern Hemisphere, the ecliptic at this time of year appears to stand almost perpendicular at nearly a right angle to the eastern horizon.

Supermoon, Blood Moon, Blue Moon and Harvest Moon | NASA Space Place – NASA Science for Kids

As such, the difference for the time of moonrise exceeds the average of 50 minutes per night. In Sydney, for instance, the night-to-night difference amounts to 55 minutes. Because the Harvest Moon arrives at its most extreme apogee its farthest distance from Earth about In fact, it is roughly 14 percent smaller compared with the perigee "supermoon" of Feb.

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If it were somehow possible to place both full moons side by side in the sky, the size difference would be readily apparent. But for most, our September Harvest Moon will not look much different from any of the others that have appeared so far this year. In fact, because the moon is at its farthest point from Earth in its orbit, it is also moving at its slowest.

As a result, take note of how long its disk appears perfectly round, before and after the moment of full moon. This interval is always longest around apogee, where you might perceive a fairly round disk for three consecutive nights, especially when — as will be the case for those in the Eastern U.


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Therefore, to the casual skywatcher, it will seem that the moon will be "full" for three nights in a row! During a total lunar eclipse, Earth lines up between the Moon and the Sun. This hides the Moon from the sunlight. When this happens, the only light that reaches the Moon's surface is from the edges of the Earth's atmosphere.

The air molecules from Earth's atmosphere scatter out most of the blue light. The remaining light reflects onto the Moon's surface with a red glow, making the Moon appear red in the night sky. The name "blood moon" is also sometimes used for a Moon that appears reddish because of dust, smoke or haze in the sky.

And it can be one of the full moons of autumn when the leaves are turning red. Image of a supermoon total lunar eclipse behind the Colorado State Capitol building on September 27, A "supermoon" appears to us as a larger-than-usual Moon in our night sky. A supermoon looks larger just because it's a bit closer to Earth. When you hear someone say, "Once in a blue moon …" you know they are talking about something rare. A blue moon is not blue in color.


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In fact, a blue moon does not look any different than a regular, monthly full moon. Rather, a blue moon is special because it is the "extra" Moon in a season with four full moons. This usually only happens every two-and-a-half years.

Uxbridge Harvest Moon Festival

Since the s, the term "blue moon" has also been used for the second full moon in a calendar month. This usually happens only every two-and-a-half years. Credit: Doug Ellison. The term "harvest moon" refers to the full, bright Moon that occurs closest to the start of autumn. The name dates from the time before electricity, when farmers depended on the Moon's light to harvest their crops late into the night.

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