Saturday, October 07, 2006

Harvest Moon

So full, so bright, it's the Harvest Moon. Some facts about the harvest moon:

Q. What is a harvest moon?

A. Simply put, the harvest moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the date of the autumn equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.
Some people claim that the harvest moon shines brighter and more golden than during normal full moons. However, since the time between moonrises on successive nights is shorter in autumn than at any other time of year, there is very little darkness between sunset and moonrise.

The continuance of the moonlight after sunset is useful to farmers in northern latitudes, who are then harvesting their crops. The full moon following the harvest moon, which exhibits the same phenomena in a lesser degree, is called the hunter's moon. A similar phenomenon to the harvest moon is observed in southern latitudes at the spring equinox on about March 21.

Q. Does the harvest moon always occur in September?

A. No, It depends on the date of the full moon with relationship to the equinox.
While it's a fact that most harvest moons do occur in September you need only to check 2001 to see that it can, from time to time, fall in October.

The one pictured occured the evening of October 5, 2006. I took these shots standing in the doorway of my back door, looking in the general direction of the southeast, where it could be seen shining brightly, the clouds creating a montage of images across its face as they floated past. If you adjust your screen and look closely at the second shot, you can see a dim silhouette of my trees in front of the moon (slightly left of it) and the almost other worldly glow of light about the moon itself. I think I'm ready for Halloween now!

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