The big, beautiful ‘Harvest Moon’ of September will be full starting tonight (Sept. 10)
Autumn is approaching, and it’s time to enjoy the splendor of September’s full moon, also known as the Harvest Moon.
The next occurs on next full moon Saturday, September 10 at around 6 a.m. EDT (10 a.m. UTC), though it will be visible in the sky beginning tonight (Sept. 9) and continuing through Sunday (Sept. 11). The best time to see the full moon is right after sunset, when it rises close to the horizon and appears slightly larger than when it is high in the sky.
After four supermoons in a row this summer, the moon is back to being a regular old full moon — that is, four full moons that rose during the moon’s closest approach to Earth during its orbit, making the moon appear larger and up to 16% brighter in the sky than an average full moon, as previously reported by Live Science. The “Sturgeon Moon” in August 2022 was the year’s final supermoon.
According to NASA, the full moon in September has been known as the Harvest Moon since at least 1706. This is the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox, when many crops are harvested in the Northern Hemisphere; additionally, some farmers have traditionally worked late into the night harvesting their crops, according to NASA.
The moon is also known by several non-European names. The most well-known is the Corn Moon, which was coined by the Algonquin tribes who lived in what is now the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.
The Harvest Moon frequently coincides with religious and cultural holidays, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated in China and several other Asian countries, and the Hindu calendar’s 16-day Pitru Paksha period. Last year, the moon also coincided with the start of Judaism’s seven-day Sukkot holiday.
Every month, the sun, Earth, and moon align on an invisible 180-degree line, resulting in a full moon. Because the moon’s orbit differs from Earth’s by about 5 degrees, our satellite is usually a little higher or lower than Earth’s shadow, allowing the sun’s rays to illuminate the side facing Earth.
The Hunter’s Moon, which occurs on October 9, will be the next full moon.