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The Harvest Moon peaked over Hawaii early this morning. However, that doesn’t mean that you missed it.
“I took a time lapse of last night’s Harvest Moon rising over Koko Crater.”
– Alex Dzierba (video credit)
The Harvest Moon is the full moon before the autumnal equinox, which is on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. It’s called the Harvest Moon because farmers would be harvesting at this time of year and the moon provided extra light before electricity.
The Harvest Moon is different than other full moons. On average, the moon rises about 50 minutes later every day. However, when a full moon is close to the autumnal equinox, the moon rises about 30 to 35 minutes later. This is due to the moon’s orbital path being on a narrower angle with the horizon.
Because of this low angle, the moon will appear reddened by clouds and dust as well as look larger due to an optical illusion.
“When you add these effects together the Harvest Moon often looks like a great pumpkin.”
You can enjoy the Harvest Moon on Sept. 19 and 20.
- Moonrise: 6:05 p.m.
- Moonset: 5:36 a.m.
September 19, 2013 is also the Moon Festival, or Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, during a full moon. Read more about the Asian Moon Festival and mooncakes from our friends at Nonstop Honolulu, Moon Festival 2013: Today is Moon Festival 2013, but you can enjoy moon cakes year-round.
Video discription from http://science.nasa.gov