- The Harvest Moon will rise on Monday, September 20 at 7:55 p.m. ET
- It is the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox which falls on September 22
- The name was given in the 1700s when farmers used the bright moon’s brightness to harvest crops.
The Harvest Moon is set to illuminate the night sky on Monday, September 20, which will be the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox that falls on September 22 in the Northern Hemisphere.
The autumn ‘equinox’ is the moment when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, which is taken as the end of summer and the beginning of the autumn season.
This year, it’s the fourth full moon of the season and is set to rise at 7:55 p.m. ET — which will also appear full for a total of three days.
On average, the Moon rises 50 minutes later than sunset each day, although when the full moon occurs close to the autumnal equinox, the Moon lends its golden hue only 30 minutes after sunset.
This moon got its name in the 1700s when farmers relied on the glow of the lunar orb to harvest late at night.
The Harvest Moon is set to illuminate the night sky on Monday, September 20, which will be the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox that falls on September 22 in the Northern Hemisphere. Pictured: Eastsuch in Kent on September 20, 2020
“In the days before electric lights, farmers in the Northern Hemisphere relied on bright moonlight to extend the workday beyond sunset,” NASA shared in a statement. Statement.
‘It was the only way they could collect their ripening crops in time for the market. The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox became the ‘Harvest Moon’, and it was always a welcome sight.
The term became even deeper in popular culture thanks to a 1903 pop tune called ‘Shine on the Harvest Moon’.
The last major full moon to adorn the night sky was the Blue Moon on August 22.
This year it’s the fourth full moon of the season and is set to rise at 7:55 p.m. ET – it will also appear full for a total of three days. The stunning first full moon of September is seen rising over the beach huts at Hengistbury Head in Dorset in 2020
Unfortunately, Earth’s natural satellite didn’t live up to its name—it wouldn’t glow a stunning blue in the night sky, but would glow a ghostly white.
The average Blue Moon appears only once every three years, but this summer saw four full moons and the third in a season is always called a Blue Moon—the fourth is Monday’s Harvest Moon.
The first recorded use of ‘blue moon’ in English is from 1528, but according to NASA, the name may come from dust in the Moon’s atmosphere, which makes it appear blue to Earth.
This specific moon was called the Sturgeon Moon by Algonquin tribes, as it denotes the time of year when large fish were easily caught in the Great Lakes and other major American water bodies.
It was also mentioned by Green Corn Moon by the same tribe that the crop was ready for harvest.