DR. SKY BLOG

September skies bring autumn’s harvest moon to light

Sep 15, 2021, 2:00 PM | Updated: Sep 21, 2021, 12:58 pm
(Unsplash Photo)...
(Unsplash Photo)
(Unsplash Photo)

We bring you some exciting news about a most amazing moon known as the harvest moon.

This annual event is looked on by many as the most beautiful of all the full moons in the entire calendar year.

What exactly is a harvest moon?

The harvest moon is the full moon which occurs closest to the date of the autumnal equinox, the change of seasons from summer to fall. The change occurs in Arizona on Sep. 22 at 12:20 p.m.

While many of us will not notice the change of seasons as the sun crosses the equator in the sky and heads south for the new season, we will get to notice the harvest moon on the 20th, with no difficulty at all.

For those of you that want to actually view the rising on the harvest moon, please note that a harvest moon rises earlier than most full moons in the calendar year.

On the evening of the 20th, get set to view the eastern horizon well before sunset, which occurs at 6:27 p.m. Arizona time. The harvest moon will be rising just to the right of due east at azimuth 95 degrees, at 6:44 p.m.

From the historical side, a harvest moon is seen rising earlier than most of the full moons in the calendar year due to its inclination to the ecliptic plane.

Farmers would use the light of the full moon to aid in the harvesting of crops.

Adding to this is the fact that civil twilight will continue until 6:51 p.m. Arizona time, making the moon appear in a less than total dark sky.

Here is an image of the wonders of the harvest moon.

Here is an image of the rising of the harvest moon.

In the last century, the harvest moon had a most romantic and special place in the hearts and minds of people around the world.

There were many special dinner dances and other grand events centered around the wonders of this moon.

Here’s a modern harvest moon celebration.

Here’s the classic Neil Young version of “Harvest Moon.”

No matter what you do, do not miss this great celestial event that to many holds a special place in the heart.

Shine on, harvest moon!

To print your own monthly star chart, click here.

To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.

Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday at 3 a.m.

Podcasts are available here.

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