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Harvest Moon Reaches Its Peak Weeks Before Autumnal Equinox

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Apex
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« on: September 22, 2011, 02:35:52 am »

Harvest Moon Reaches Its Peak Weeks Before Autumnal Equinox

The Huffington Post
First Posted: 9/12/11 12:15 PM ET Updated: 9/12/11 12:31 PM ET



The Havest Moon reaches its fullest in the Northern Hemisphere on Sept. 12, 2011. This photo shows an orange Harvest Moon as it rises over Manassas, Virginia in September 2007.


A special sight was in store for stargazers and early risers in the Northern Hemisphere this weekend.

This year's Harvest Moon reached its peak early Monday, Sept. 12 at about 5:27 a.m. EDT, Space.com reports.

The "Harvest Moon" is another name for the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox, which marks the change of seasons.

The moon gets its name from the amount of light it emits, allowing farmers to continue harvesting the summer's crops through the evening, according to Space.com. This year's fall equinox is set to occur on Sept. 23.

The Harvest Moon usually appears before or after the equinox.

Last year, the Harvest Moon occurred on the fall equinox, a rare occurrence that won't happen again until 2029, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Disappointed skywatchers need not fret if they slept through Monday morning's full moon display; they will have another chance to witness the annual occurrence.

Earthsky.org reports the Harvest Moon will be visible until Sept. 13, and perhaps a little longer for northern areas, such as Canada and Alaska.

The special full moon is also thought to bring "a spectacular northern lights display" for residents farther north, according to The Toronto Sun.

While the Harvest Moon appears orange in color, the effect can be attributed to the way light scatters on the moon as gazers look into the horizon. EarthSky.org explains:

    It stems from the fact that – when you look toward the horizon – you are looking through a greater thickness of Earth’s atmosphere than when you gaze up and overhead. The atmosphere scatters blue light – that’s why the sky looks blue. The greater thickness of atmosphere in the direction of a horizon scatters blue light most effectively, but it lets red light pass through to your eyes. So a moon near the horizon takes on a yellow or orange or reddish hue.

To learn more about the autumnal equinox, watch the clip below from National Geographic.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 02:36:55 am by Apex » Report Spam   Logged

Apex
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2011, 02:37:45 am »



A hawk perched on a tree at the edge of Randleman Lake is framed by the harvest moon, near Branson Davis Road in Randolph County, N.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/News & Record, Joseph Rodriguez)
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2011, 02:38:20 am »



The harvest moon rises behind the "Pesky Pole" down the first-base line at Fenway Park prior to a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles in Boston, Mass., on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2011, 02:38:55 am »



The harvest moon rises over the Colorado prairie framed by the engines of a Royal Air Force cargo plane parked at a general aviation terminal at Denver International Airport in east Denver, Colo., on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2011, 02:39:27 am »




An orange "harvest moon" rises over Manassas, Virginia on Sept. 26, 2007. A harvest moon is the full moon that appears nearest to the Autumnal Equinox. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2011, 02:40:44 am »



A jet on approach to Fort Lauderdale International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is framed by a full harvest moon as it rises Thursday, Oct. 9, 2003. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2011, 02:42:01 am »




A orange moon rises with the Washington Monument in the foreground, October 12, 2000, in Washington, D.C. There will be a full harvest moon on Friday the 13th. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Newsmakers)
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