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Sep 11, 2022

Turn Your Eyes To The Sky Tonight– It’s The Harvest Moon

With the autumn equinox less than two weeks away, it's easy to see why September's full Moon is known as the Harvest Moon. It will reach its maximum tomorrow, September 10, at 5:59 a.m. EDT, but if you gaze up at the sky, it will appear full until Sunday.

Many of the names given to the full Moons throughout the year come from the Maine Farmer's Almanac, which employs names given to them by various Native American tribes. According to NASA, the name of the last full Moon of summer was already in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1706.

The harvesting theme can be found in the names given to this Moon by various cultures. It's also known as the Fruit Moon and the Barley Moon in Europe. In Italy, this Moon is referred to as "laboriosa" (hardworking). It is the Corn Moon for the Algonquin people, the indigenous inhabitants of what is now the northeastern United States and several portions of Canada.

This moon highlights traditional harvest festivities in various Asian countries, including China and Vietnam. It is known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival in areas of China, with offerings made to the Moon Goddess Chang'e (China's Moon mission is named after her). This Moon is known as Imomeigetsu (potato harvest moon) in Japan as part of the Tsukimi, or Moon-viewing festival. This is the Honey Full Moon Festival, or Madhu Purnima, for Buddhists in Bangladesh and Thailand.

This summer has witnessed four supermoons in a row, which occurs when a full Moon coincides with the Moon's perigee, the closest point in its orbit to us, making it appear enormous in the sky. Now it's back to regular old Moons, but don't worry, we've got plenty to keep us entertained. The Moon may obscure Uranus on September 14, and Jupiter will be the closest it has been to Earth in 70 years on September 26. The partial solar eclipse in October and the partial lunar eclipse in November are both scheduled, so check back here for information on how to best see these.

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