Harvest moon shines on tonight

Science News

The silhouette of a plane is seen in front of the full moon on May 26, 2021 in Rome. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Mankind has come up with all sorts of names for different full moons during the year: flower moon, blood moon, pink moon, worm moon and even sturgeon moon, all with varying degrees of popularity. (I’d be surprised if you’d heard of the sturgeon moon before now, for example.)

One that just about everyone recognizes, however, is the harvest moon.

It’s been sung about, and there are numerous festivals dedicated to it every year.

The name is actually quite understandable. As it’s the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox, it shines over farmlands with crops ready to harvest in much of the world.

In the time before widespread electrification, and still, in much of the developing world, work was done by the light of the sun and the moon, and the full moon gave enough light to work all night if skies were clear.

Thus, the full moon that cast its glow on fruit-laden fields, heavy heads of grain and vegetable gardens bursting at the seams was known as the harvest moon.

If you’re the sort who needs to know exactly when things happen, NASA says that the most full part of the harvest moon occurs at 7:55 p.m. ET Monday.

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