Skywatchers are in for a treat the next three nights, as September’s Full Corn Moon rises in the sky.

It becomes officially full early Wednesday morning, but from moonrise tonight - and through the next few nights - it will look like a full moon.

To understand some of the stories around the September full moon, we checked in with the Farmer’s Almanac and the folks at NASA who keep an eye on sky events. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits we found:

Why it’s not the Harvest Moon: Since the calendar has flipped to September, many people think any moon that rises this month should be dubbed a Harvest Moon. But the moon rules appear to be a bit tricky when it comes to this. The Old Farmer’s Almanac explains it this way:

“The full Moon that happens nearest to the autumnal equinox always takes on the name “Harvest Moon” instead of a traditional name — a rule that often places the Harvest Moon in the month of September. However, when September’s full moon occurs early in the month, the full moon of early October lands nearest to the autumnal equinox and therefore takes on the Harvest Moon title instead.”

September’s full moon has lots of names: The Full Corn Moon is one of the most common names, but there are a handful of others, depending on where you live. Because it’s the last full moon of summer, the Algonquin tribes along the East Coast called it the Corn Moon, as it coincided with gathering crops of corn, squash, beans and other late-summer garden staples.

Gordon Johnston also pulled together a lot of details about this month’s full moon history on his recent NASA blog:

“European names for this full Moon are the Fruit Moon, as a number of fruits ripen as the end of summer approaches, and the Barley Moon, from the harvesting and threshing of the barley.”

It is also called the Barley Moon because this is the time to harvest and thresh ripened barley.

Some other traditional September Full Moon names used by Native Americans include:

“Moon When the Plums Are Scarlet” by the Lakota Sioux Native Americans. “Moon When the Deer Paw the Earth” by the Omaha Native Americans. “Moon When the Calves Grow Hair” by the Sioux Native Americans

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).


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