I was sitting in the parking lot of the local shopping mall tonight, waiting for my daughter to get off work, staring up at a beautiful clear night sky, looking at the full moon in September sky.
That means if the clear weather holds, this will be a wonderful weekend at the cottage for moon gazing. I love a full moon night, looking up at the moon, almost makes me want to howl…..awwwwwwwhooooooooooooo-hooooo-0000000!!! But then I digress….
The moon and stars and particularly the moon has always fascinated me. Perhaps because of all those summer nights at the cottage staring at it. Perhaps because I think it makes me a little crazy and I like to be crazy….
We see a full moon when the sun and moon are on opposite sides of the earth. When the earth gets in the way, between the sun and the moon, it appears dark, or not at all. In between time, we see the bananna shaped moon that gets bigger every night, until it is full, then it starts to get smaller again.
The phase leading up to the full moon is called the “waxing moon” and the phase after it, when the size of the moon we see grows smaller is the “waning moon”
So that means that following the full moon in September tonight, we will be seeing a waning moon on the weekend. You can say that at your campfire and wow your friends and family with your moon knowledge….
The next full moon we see will be the “Harvest Moon” so named because it provides extra light for farmers to finish their fall crop harvesting. But that is not this one, this one is the Sturgeon Moon, among other names.
The harvest moon happens on the Saturday nearest to the fall equinox, which is September 22nd. That means this year, the Harvest Moon happens on October 4th a rarity that only happens occasionally, the next one is not until 2017.
The moon in October is also called the Hunters Moon. It received the name of harvest moon because it appears in the Northern Hemisphere at the time of the year that coincides with the harvesting of crops.
The full moon in September and the moons that happen in the fall, and again in the spring, seem bigger or closer, and appear to be up larger for a reason. Each night the moon usually rises after sunset, appearing about 50 minutes later each night, which means there are periods when the sun goes down and the moon does not come up until much later.
In the fall and spring, that time is shortened to about 30 minutes, which means that it is visible for a longer period, being visible a little longer, providing more light to work by for harvesting or in days of old hunting.
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