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The Harvest Moon – Final Full Moon Before Fall Equinox

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THEME:   LIFE STYLE

By Ann Tyller | September 19, 2013 9:37 am

The Harvest Moon is the full moon

The Harvest Moon is the full moon

The Harvest Moon is the full moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox. The Harvest Moon marks the official start of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. This year, the autumnal equinox set to fall on Sept. 22, the 2013 Harvest Moon will be in full bloom Wednesday to Thursday night.

Because of the tilt of the moon’s orbit in September, the moon rises at about the same time that the sun is setting for a few days after the full moon. Usually the moon rises at sunset only on the day it is full and then rises about an hour later each subsequent day. Since the moon is actually not farther away on the horizon, we may think that it appears larger — even though its angular size is the same.

In traditional society, days of horse, moonlight was crucial for farmers who had to work after sundown, especially in early autumn when many crops are ready to be harvested. For that reason, the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox (it can come either two weeks before or two weeks after depending on the year) was called the “Harvest Moon.”

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