The full moon that rose this night marks the closest full moon to the fall equinox. The moon reached its full phase at 2:40 p.m. ET Thursday October 5th – the Harvest Moon rose above the horizon at 7:21 p.m. ET.
Excerpts from National Geographic…
- Civilizations around the world have long used the phases of the moon to keep track of time, and according to lunar tradition, each month’s full moon gets a special name. These names vary by location and regional folklore, but many are based on that particular full moon’s seasonal characteristics.
- In the Northern Hemisphere, the harvest moon is the closest full moon to the fall equinox, which usually happens on or around September 22. That means the harvest moon usually occurs in September. But this year, the September full moon appeared on the 6th, separating it from the fall equinox by 16 days. The October 5 full moon arrives only 13 days after the fall equinox, making it the closer pairing.
- While it’s been a while since we last saw an October harvest moon, the phenomenon isn’t really that rare, says Ernie Wright, a specialist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Scientific Visualization Studio in Maryland.
- “The previous one was in 2009, but the one before that was 2006, and the next one will be in 2020,” he says. Based on the timing of the equinox and the regular 29.5-day cycle of the moon, a harvest moon can happen on any date between September 7 and October 8. That means the probability of an October harvest moon is roughly one in four, he calculates.
What might we find this night under this Harvest Moon?
I wanna glide down over Mulholland
I wanna write her name in the sky
I’m gonna free fall out into nothin’
Gonna leave this world for awhile
October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017
Travelin beyond Earth
between Harvest Moons
Reported by Jim Lantern, in Norman, Oklahoma
Thursday night – 5 October 2017