2013′s Harvest Moon will be lighting up the night sky either tonight or tomorrow, depending on your location.
In 2013, the Harvest Moon will peak at just after 7 AM on the East Coast, but will also be visible all night long on Wednesday, September 18.
After last month’s Sturgeon Moon, you may be interested in what makes a Harvest Moon so-called… is it the timing?
Sort of, as 2013′s Harvest Moon and the hundreds and hundreds before it do coincide with tilling the fields. The moniker dates back to when humans in general were more reliant on the sky as a main source of illumination — the moon before the Autumnal Equinox (which is September 22 in 2013) was brighter, earlier in the evening, so farmers had an extra bit of time in which to gather crops.
As with all sky events, 2013′s Harvest Moon has optimal viewing ranges depending on where you’re located on the big blue dot. EarthSky explains where to see the Harvest Moon when, saying:
“In eastern Asia, on the other hand, the moon will turn precisely full after sunset on September 19. In that part of the world, the full Harvest Moon will be said to take place on the night of September 19-20, coinciding with the yearly Mid-Autumn Festival, sometimes called the Moon Festival… So watch for the bright full moon both tonight and tomorrow night. Even on September 20, the moon will still be displaying some Harvest Moon characteristics, such as rising close to the time of sunset.”
Even if 2013′s Harvest Moon isn’t visible by you due to cloud cover, you can surely catch the bevy of stunning images that pop up on social media each month when the moon is full.