A visual guide

Written by on September 20, 2021

The harvest moon – the total, orange moon that reliably seems each autumn – has been a blessing for pre-Industrial Age farmers harvesting crops and an inspiration for songwriters from the Tin Pan Alley period to Neil Younger. 

Harvest moons are full moons that happen yearly closest to the autumnal equinox, or starting of fall, normally Sept. 22 or 23. This yr’s harvest moon arrives Sept. 20 and can seem precisely reverse the solar at 7:54 p.m. EDT.

It’s referred to as the harvest moon as a result of the moon rises about the identical time each night for a number of nights in a row within the Northern Hemisphere. It supplies ample moonlight within the early night for farmers harvesting summer time crops.

The phenomenon happens due to the moon’s place within the northern a part of the sky throughout this time of yr. Within the Northern Hemisphere, the farther north an object is from the equator, the longer it’s seen throughout the sky.

In China, they have a good time the harvest moon with mooncake pastries and lanterns at their Mid-Autumn Competition, also referred to as the Moon Competition, as a result of they believed the moon was at its brightest and fullest measurement.

All through historical past, totally different cultures have celebrated full moons as a result of they have been a strategy to sign adjustments in seasons, for the reason that moon’s orbit across the Earth is a reasonably constant strategy to measure time passing with out using calendars.

The moon takes about 30 days to revolve across the Earth, which is named a lunar cycle. Every lunar cycle is split into eight moon phases based mostly on the moon’s place relative to the solar. 

One other strategy to measure time was by figuring out the yr’s solstices and equinoxes, which sign the start of seasons due to the Earth’s orbit across the solar. 

The spring, or vernal, equinox occurs round March 20 or 21 and, just like the autumnal equinox, is when the day and night time are of equal size. However the days will proceed to get longer as a result of extra gentle is shed on Earth up till the summer time solstice.

The summer time solstice occurs round June 20 or 21 and has essentially the most daytime of the yr, not less than within the Northern Hemisphere. After that, the times will change into shorter till the winter solstice on Dec. 21 or 22, when there’s the least daylight of every other day. 

The etymology behind the phrase “lunatic,” a synonym for mentally unwell, comes from the Latin root of luna, which implies the moon. Folks way back to 400 B.C. have been noticing that peoples’ psychological states have been affected by the lunar cycle.

The gravitational drive of the moon causes many seen adjustments on Earth, from affecting the ocean’s tides, animals’ migration habits, and people’ capability to sleep. And full moons have been heralded by time to be essentially the most impactful.

The Outdated Farmer’s Almanac, a reference e-book that’s been revealed for the reason that 18th century, named the totally different full moons from names utilized by Native American, colonial American and European sources, so their meanings derive from traits of the Northern Hemisphere. 

 And in Christianity, if the moon seems earlier than the spring equinox, it’s generally known as the lenten moon marking the final full moon of winter. If it seems after the equinox, it’s generally known as the paschal moon to mark the primary full moon of spring.

Except for the standard names given to full moons based mostly on the calendar, different varieties of particular moons can happen and have names that denote them.

As a result of the moon completes its closing cycle round 11 days earlier than the Earth’s orbit finishes, each two-and-a-half years, a blue moon happens. It was generally known as an additional full moon present inside a season, since every of the 4 seasons has three. Now, it’s extra generally used to explain a month that accommodates two full moons.

One other particular form of moon is named a supermoon. This occurs when the total moon occurs to fall at perigee – its closest level to Earth in its orbit. Perigee is when the moon is 225,744 miles from Earth and seems greater and brighter than a traditional full moon.

When the moon reaches apogee, it’s at its farthest from Earth with a distance of 251,966 miles. If a full moon happens whereas the moon is at apogee, it’s referred to as a micromoon.

A blood moon happens throughout a complete lunar eclipse, which is when the Earth traces up precisely between the moon and the solar. The moon seems purple as a result of the solar is totally obscured by the earth, so the one gentle that reaches the moon is from Earth’s ambiance. It might probably have a purple tint as a result of it’s reflecting the sunshine from sunsets and sunrises taking place on Earth.

PHOTOS The Related Press, AFP

10:09 am UTC Sep. 18, 2021

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3:20 pm UTC Sep. 20, 2021

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