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   Sep 08

Super Harvest Moon Tonight! Check It Out and Learn More About It Here

Super_MoonI’m going to be out checking out the SUPER HARVEST MOON how about you? I imagine there will be some farmers out harvesting too since it’s the Harvest Moon. Check out  Gardening by the Moon Calendar post at:  http://www.gardensall.com/?p=1742 Find out more about this moon. Read on…

The last of the summer supermoons: Watch out for tonight’s Super Harvest Moon

After a summer of sensational supermoons, it all culminates tonight with a huge supermoon that also happens to be this year’s harvest moon (the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox). Viewing conditions look like they’ll be good for most of Europe and North America, so do try to get outside around sunset today and look to the east for a rising supermoon near the horizon.

As you probably know, the Moon orbits the Earth. This orbit isn’t quite perfectly round: It’s actually an ellipsis (a squashed circle). At its furthest point from Earth (its apogee), the Moon is about 251,000 miles (405,000 km) away — at its closest point (perigee), it’s only 225,000 miles (326,000 km) away. This difference of some 26,000 miles makes a significant difference: At its perigee, the Moon really does look about 12% bigger in the night sky and about 30% brighter. When the perigee coincides with a full moon, this increase in size and brightness is most apparent, which is what led it to be called a supermoon.

Read more at source of this Article: Extreme Tech

 

 

Shine On, Harvest Moon

by Fred Schaaf

Many of us have heard about the “Harvest Moon.” Astronomers define Harvest Moon as the full Moon nearest the autumnal equinox (the beginning of autumn). Why does it have special importance? Read on . . .

The Usual Moon

The usual behavior of the Moon is to rise distinctly later each night — an average of about 50 minutes later. This is because the Moon’s orbital motion (combined with the larger orbit of the Earth around the Sun) carries it farther eastward among the constellations of the zodiac from night to night. At any one moonrise, the Moon occupies a particular place on the celestial sphere (the great dome of the heavens), but when the Earth turns toward that point 24 hours later, the Moon has moved off to the east about 12 degrees, and it takes an average of 50 minutes longer for the Earth to rotate toward the Moon and for the Moon thus to “rise.” Think of it as a giant Slinky in which each loop, representing one lunar orbit of the Earth, advances the orbit a bit farther along the spiral path.

The Harvest Moon

But around the date of the Harvest Moon, the Moon rises at almost the same time for a number of nights in our intermediate northern latitudes. Why is the Harvest Moon different? Well, remember that the zodiac is the band of constellations through which the Moon travels from night to night. The section of the zodiac band in which the full Moon travels around the start of autumn is the section that forms the most shallow angle with the eastern horizon.

Because the Moon’s orbit on successive nights is more nearly parallel to the horizon at that time, its relationship to the eastern horizon does not change appreciably, and the Earth does not have to turn as far to bring up the Moon. Thus, for several nights near the full Harvest Moon, the Moon may rise as little as 23 minutes later on successive nights (at about 42 degrees north latitude), and there is an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, a traditional aid to harvest crews. By the time the Moon has reached last quarter, however, the typical 50-minute delay has returned.

By contrast, the full Moon near the start of spring is in the section of the zodiac that has the steepest angle with respect to the eastern horizon, and the opposite applies. For several days bracketing the full Moon nearest the vernal equinox, the delay in moonrise is as much as 75 minutes (at 42 degrees north latitude).

Here is another way of expressing what happens with the Harvest Moon:

Read More at Source of this Article: Farmers Almanac

Photo Source via Flickr

Deniz Nevin

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