The full moon known as this year's Harvest Moon will rise tonight (Sept.16) and will be shaded by a subtle type of lunar eclipse for some skywatchers in Africa, Asia and Australia.

This full moon is called the Harvest Moon because many fruits and vegetables tend to ripen in the late summer and early fall in the Northern Hemisphere. In the days before electricity, farmers relied heavily on this moon's light, working late into the evening to harvest their crops.

Sometimes the moon turns orange, just like a fall pumpkin, because of clouds and dust in the atmosphere close to the horizon. So the Harvest Moon may hang low and large on the horizon tonight, like a colorful lantern.

What is a Harvest Moon? In traditional skylore, the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, and depending on the year, the Harvest Moon can come anywhere from two weeks before to two weeks after the autumnal equinox.

The Harvest Moon is the one that comes the closest to the autumnal equinox, so this year it falls in September, although occasionally this title can be bestowed upon the October full moon. That will happen 12 times from 1970 to 2020, occurring next in 2017.

Learn Native American Names: Soaproot (Pomo). Corn Moon (Pueblo). Harvest moon (Hopi). Singing Moon (Celtic). Leaf fall Moon (Kiowa). Ripe Moon (San Juan). Maize Moon (Natchez). Acorns Moon (Wishram). Rice Moon (Anishnaabe). Hay Cutting Moon (Yuchi). Mulberry Moon (Choctaw). Deer Paw Moon (Omaha). Snow Goose Moon (Cree). Freshness Moon (Mohawk). Harvest Moon (Neo-Pagan). Harvest (Colonial American). Little Chestnut Moon (Creek). Corn Maker Moon (Abernaki). Drying Grass Moon (Arapaho). Yellow Leaf Moon (Assiniboine). Drying Grass Moon (Cheyenne). Autumn Moon (Passamaquoddy). Barley Moon (Mediaeval English). Calves Hair Growth Moon (Dakota). Yellow Leaf Moon(Taos Native American). Nut Moon, Black Butterfly Moon (Cherokee). Drying Grass Moon, Black Calve Moon, fScarlet Plum Moon (Sioux). Harvest Moon, Corn Moon, Barley Moon, Fruit Moon, Dying Grass Moon (Algonquin).

Other moon names : Wine moon, Blood Moon, Sturgeon Moon


Responses to "Harvest Moon: What You Need to Know About September's Full Moon 2016"

  1. We saw the moon last night, it looked wonderfully orange. Thanks for posting about the moon and all of it's names.

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